The Champions League returns and Arsenal are involved in one of the stand-out ties of the Round of 16.
Arsene Wenger’s side take on familiar foes Bayern Munich seeking a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament. The tussle begins at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday before the return leg at the Emirates on 7 March.
Ahead of the first leg here’s what you really ought to know…
It’s a big game for…
Mesut Ozil. There’s speculation that Wenger will drop the club’s record signing for this game after a string of below-par performances. The Arsenal manager might be considering it but we’d be amazed if he dropped such a talented player for the trip to Germany. Wenger admitted that the German is low on confidence at the moment, but a big display against the team he’s often linked with could revitalise his campaign. However, if he goes missing in yet another big game then many Arsenal fans will reach the end of their tether.
Bayern Munich have a few key players missing with Franck Ribery and Jerome Boateng definitely out. Xabi Alonso also hurt his knee in training on Monday, making him a major doubt.
If you memorise one stat, memorise this…
Bayern have won each of their last 15 home matches in the Champions League.
Last time they met…
Look away now Arsenal fans. The last time these sides met was in the group stage last season when the German side trounced the Gunners 5-1 at the Allianz Arena. Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, David Alaba and Arjen Robben had all scored within 55 minutes. It was embarrassing.
From the archives…
Arsenal would do better to remember the time they beat Bayern on their own turf. Trailing 3-1 from the first leg in 2013, Wenger’s side very nearly stunned their opponents by winning 2-0 in the second leg. The strikes from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny weren’t quite enough though with the Gunners going out on away goals.
ARSENAL VS BAYERN MUNICH HEAD TO HEAD
B. Munich 5-1 Arsenal (Nov 4, 2015)
Arsenal 2-0 B. Munich (Oct 20, 2015)2013-14
B. Munich 1-1 Arsenal (Mar 11, 2014)
Arsenal 0-2 B. Munich (Feb 19, 2014)
B. Munich 0-2 Arsenal (Mar 13, 2013)
Arsenal 1-3 B. Munich (Feb 19, 2013)
Arsenal 1-0 B. Munich (Mar 9, 2005)
B. Munich 3-1 Arsenal (Feb 22, 2005)
B. Munich 1-0 Arsenal (Mar 14, 2001)
Arsenal 2-2 B. Munich (Dec 5, 2000)
Bayern 2 Arsenal 1