Champions League Group F: Pointless Arsenal host leaders Bayern
Lee Gormley | October 19, 2015
Arsenal v Bayern Munich
- Champions League
- Tuesday, October 20th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
- The Emirates, London
- Live on BT Sport Europe
Bayern to gun down Arsenal’s European hopes?
Arsenal are firing on all cylinders domestically but face a tough task of overturning their early Champions League struggles in midweek, as they prepare to host Group F leaders Bayern Munich, who they have beaten only twice in eight ever meetings.
Arsene Wenger’s Gunners are currently rock-bottom of their standings without a single point, after two successive defeats to Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb, and things don’t get any easier with Pep Guardiola’s Bavarians next arriving in north London.
At the Emirates, the hosts are 14/5 with Coral to topple the dominant Bundesliga champions, while Munich are 29/10 to win to nil on their travels, having done so on their previous visit to London in February last year.
Wenger wants to attack
Arsenal last overcame their German opposition on home turf in 2005, when Thierry Henry struck the winner at Highbury, but Wenger isn’t worried about previous results, claiming his men will attack at all costs.
“The confidence level is there, the required result is there as well, because we know exactly what is needed – a 0-0 is not even a good result. To score goals, we have to attack,” declared Wenger.
“What we want to do is play up to our level, because that will be needed – we play against a big team.
“We feel a bit that the pain inflicted [in Europe] was a bit by ourselves, maybe subconsciously we thought, ‘Anyway we will win these’. Now to correct that we need a great performance.”
Two opening defeats mean Wenger’s Gunners must almost certainly secure points form their double-header with Bayern, starting with this home clash, if they are to avoid exiting from the group stage for the first time in 16 years.
Confidence is high within the Arsenal ranks though, after superb Premier League performances, and their attacking stars will have to continue a rampant run to topple a Munich side who enter this contest on the back of 12 consecutive victories in all competitions.
Gunners’ dangerous firepower
One of the Londoners’ main hopes is in-form forward Theo Walcott, who believes his teammates can emerge with three points in their vital European encounter by emulating the previous Manchester United thrashing.
Walcott, who is 15/8 to strike anytime, stated: “We just need to move on from the first couple of (European) results, they have happened. We know we are capable of getting results against Bayern Munich and we obviously want to put things right.
“Looking at our last home match against Manchester United, the intensity of our game was different to what it was like against Olympiakos in the Champions League.
“We want put it right and we just need to work hard, and that is what it comes down to. If everyone is doing their job on the day it is difficult to beat us.
“We know the talent is there. We haven’t started in the Champions League how we would have liked to, but we will work hard and try to put it right.”
Clinical Chilean Alexis Sanchez will undoubtedly be key to any hopes of victory, with the South American attacker having netted 10 goals in his last six outings for club and country, and he is 7/1 to open proceedings this time out.
Can Lewandowski be stopped?
Meanwhile, Bayern possess an incredible list of goal threats including in-form Germany poacher Thomas Muller, who is 5/1 to net the game’s last goal. Although, key danger will be prolific Pole, Robert Lewandowski, with the record-breaking hitman 6/1 to bag a brace or more in his latest outing, after firing 22 times already so far in an incredible personal campaign.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Paulista picked up a knock during the win over Watford, but could still compete with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for a defensive spot against Bayern, but Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck are all long-term absentees.
Olivier Giroud returns from European suspension for the clash, but Petr Cech should take his place in goal after David Ospina’s disastrous start in the Champions League. For the visitors, Mario Gotze, Holger Badstuber and Medhi Benatia are unavailable, as well as wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, giving the Gunners further cause for optimism.
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Betting tip: Robert Lewandowski scores two or more @ 6/1