Bayern Munich vs Arsenal: Three players to look out for

Bayern Munich are set to host Arsenal in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final, with three players likely to play a vital role here.

Bayern Munich and Arsenal into Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash need a victory to progress to the semi-finals after their 2-2 draw at the Emirates. Bayern Munich will certainly feel like having the upper hand owing to home comforts. But Arsenal are no slouches away from home.

While the Gunners are solid on the road in the league, they have faltered this season away from home in the Champions League. They have won only one game this season in the competition, which came during their group stage trip to Sevilla.

PSV Eindhoven held them to a draw, while RC Lens and FC Porto beat the Gunners in the group stage and Round of 16, respectively. Hence, there are some doubts heading into this match-up. But Arsenal do have the right players to help them get over the line.

What Bayern have over Arsenal is the vast experience of being in such a situation. The Gunners are still one of the favourites to lift the Premier League title despite their setback on Sunday. But in Europe, at this stage, they may lack the experience of taking it over the line, although they could still surprise.

Quality matters and that is what Arsenal are trying to bring to the Allianz Arena as they aim to topple Bayern Munich and make it to the semi-finals. The Bavarians have been in this situation before, as they have incredibly won 17 of their last 18 knockout second-leg games, where they have managed to win or avoid defeat in the first leg.

Hence, Bayern are slight favourites to get past Arsenal on Wednesday night. But as Arteta suggested, they have a solid chance to make themselves big and get to the semis. In any case, the theories will keep rumbling about experience and quality, as the actual work must be done by the players taking the potch.

Here are the three critical stars from this contest who could have a big say in the proceedings. Bayern will need some of their experienced stars to perform, such as former Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Eric Dier, while the Gunners might rely on their star man in the Champions League, Gabriel Jesus.

Gabriel Jesus

The Gunners have often shown they need more personalities, and that might again prove a problem when things matter. They had a similar issue over the weekend when Mikel Arteta probably lacked someone to dig them deep into an indifferent situation.

However, some players can make themselves big on occasions like this one in Munich, and Gabriel Jesus sits on top of that particular pile. The Brazilian showed his class when coming off the bench and was the game-changer Arsenal needed in the first leg.

Arteta will have to rely on his expertise from the start here in Munich and name Jesus as part of his front three, alongside Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka. The Brazilians have had a good record with Manchester City and this season with Arsenal in the Champions League, and now it is time to take his game to the next level.

Harry Kane

Kane has some incomplete business against the Gunners. A top-notch performance against his old rivals will certainly make his former side and Tottenham fans happy. However, that is not the overall objective we presume for the striker, as he will certainly want a semi-final berth in the Champions League with Bayern.

In the first leg, Kane was again kept visibly quiet by William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes. But he still managed to make his mark with a goal from the penalty spot. While that seemed like how it has recently gone for the England skipper at the Emirates, he must put on a different character regarding the Allianz Arena.

Kane will have to assume more responsibility in a clash of this magnitude and pressure. With a top-notch performance, he can even justify his hefty price tag in the summer and keep the chances of finally winning a trophy alive, at the sweet expense of his former foe Arsenal.

Eric Dier

It is pretty baffling that Thomas Tuchel rates Eric Dier so highly, especially since the defender struggled to get any minutes earlier this season with Tottenham. How can a player whom Ange Postecoglou disregarded during a defensive crisis start for Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals?

Moreover, Dier has been preferred to highly rated and talented stars like Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae in this Bayern setup. In any case, Dier must prove Tuchel’s decision is the right one and put in a formidable defensive display against his former enemy, Arsenal.

He did play well in the first leg at the Emirates, but now the pressure is different, as there is an aura of a must-win encounter heading into Wednesday night. Should he come out of this clash with a strong performance and keep Havertz and the other members of the Arsenal front three quiet, Tuchel can pat himself on the back and claim credit for this recruitment decision.

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