Bayern Munich vs Arsenal: Preview and Prediction

Bayern Munich are set to host Arsenal in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final, with the tie evenly poised.

UEFA’s decision to abolish the away goals rules has made knockout clashes more interesting. Take the Arsenal vs Bayern Munich and Real Madrid vs Manchester City ties for example; these games would have given the away side an advantage after the first leg scores before, but not anymore.

Bayern Munich would have wished the rules stayed intact as they now host Arsenal in the second leg of their quarter-final, with the game tied at 2-2. Thomas Tuchel will really want his side to push on and secure the only remaining trophy this season, although they did suffer a Bundesliga heartache at the weekend.

Bayer Leverkusen lifted a historic first title in their 120-year history after they beat Werder Bremen 5-0. Bayern managed a 2-0 victory over Koln and will come into this game against Arsenal with mixed emotions, having seen Xabi Alonso’s side end their decade-long dominance.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta’s men hope to reset their objectives in the Champions League after a week of complex results. After playing out the draw with Bayern Munich at the Emirates, Arsenal suffered a bitter blow to their title hopes with a defeat at home to Aston Villa.

Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins’s goals sealed the three points for Unai Emery’s side. The Gunners now trail Manchester City by two points with six games to go. Arteta will want his side to provide a solid response on their travels, as Arsenal aim to reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time in more than a decade.

This is a chance for Arsenal to revive their season after Sunday’s defeat, which felt like a dagger to the heart. Should they bow out of the Champions League, the psychological aspect of it could have a significant effect on their Premier League title charge. Still, as things stand, Arteta’s side have destiny in their own hands.

Team News & Tactics

Bayern Munich

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that some of his players must grit their teeth and play crucial games before their home clash with Arsenal. Of those, the Bayern Munich manager might have intended the message to Leroy Sane, who has a problem with his pubic bone.

The German international trained yesterday alongside goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but the duo missed the clash against FC Koln. While those two stars are now seemingly available, Bayern Munich lost Kingsley Coman at the weekend, injuring his right abductor in the win.

Meanwhile, Serge Gnabry, who scored at the Emirates, will also miss out after suffering a hamstring problem in the first leg. Left-back Alphonso Davies is suspended following his yellow card very early in the game with the Gunners.

Noussair Mazraoui or Raphael Guerreiro are the current options to replace the Canadian at left-back, with the former likely to be given the nod to start. In the final third, Thomas Muller could come in to replace Gnabry in the lineup, which could push Jamal Musiala to the left-hand side of the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, de Ligt, Dier, Mazraoui; Goretzka, Laimer; Sane, Muller, Musiala; Kane


For Mikel Arteta, the fitness of his players is less of a concern than putting on his thinking hat when it comes to selecting his best and strongest lineup. Jurrien Timber remains the only notable absentee, as he continues to make steady progress from his ACL injury and might even feature before the season ends.

Beyond that, Arteta must get his selection right and avoid making errors in judgement. For instance, Gabriel Martinelli has not been at his best since that injury against Sheffield United. Gabriel Jesus is a big option, and Leandro Trossard is more effective off the bench.

Even in midfield, he has the options to start Thomas Partey or Jorginho alongside Declan Rice. It might be the latter that comes in to replace Hai Havertz, who will likely start in the No.9 role up front. Martin Odegaard remains Arsenal’s most important star.

The big decision for Arteta has to be his starting left-back, with Oleksandr Zinchenko coming in for plenty of flak over his performances at the weekend. Takehiro Tomiyasu is a good selection for his ability to defend wide, especially with the likes of Leroy Sane, who would likely likely start the game on Wednesday.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Raya; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Jesus

Key Stats

  • Bayern Munich have advanced from 17 of their last 18 UEFA Champions League knockout ties when avoiding defeat in the first leg.
  • Only Liverpool have managed to beat Bayern Munich in such a position.
  • Bayern Munich have beaten Arsenal with a 5-1 scoreline in each of their last two games at this venue.
  • Arsenal has conceded one goal in its last six away matches and has kept clean sheets in each of its last three.
  • Arsenal have failed to win their last two games in all competitions.

Player to Watch

Gabriel Jesus

Embed from Getty Images

Gabriel Jesus was a game-changer after coming off the bench in the last game against Bayern Munich when Arsenal was trailing. He has a big-game character, particularly in Europe, and that can come in handy for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta.

With Gabriel Martinelli performing poorly since his foot injury, Arteta must not overthink his selection and hand the keys to the left wing to Jesus. The Brazilian also offers defensive security with his efficient tracking back, which will be crucial in this game, as well as his progress in the attacking third for the Gunners.


Bayern Munich 2-1 Arsenal

For both sides, Wednesday’s clash is a season-defining, must-win encounter that could redefine their respective seasons. Bayern Munich have the home advantage, although they might be missing out on some key stars who may have a big say in getting the result.

However, the biggest weapon for Bayern is their experience at this stage, as their record of not losing 17 of their 18 games in the knockout phase, where they have managed to avoid defeat in the first leg, shows plenty. The experience part is where Arsenal might fall short of making it into the next round, although the Gunners may only bow out by putting up a big fight.

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