Three things Arsenal must do to avoid getting ‘Bayern’d’ again
It’s no secret that Arsenal have it all to do just to stay in the tie against the ruthless winning machine that is Bayern Munich, as they meet in the Champions League last-16 for successive years.
It was only last season that Arsene Wenger’s side were left with an insurmountable task in the second-leg having succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the Emirates and now they must find a way to avoid history repeating itself.
Despite being the 7/2 outsiders both to win the home leg and to qualify, here are three things the Gunners should heed in attempting to keep this tie alive heading back to Germany.
Stop Bayern scoring before the break
During Bayern’s current imperious winning streak of nine games, the closest any side has got to preventing the seemingly inevitable is Stuttgart.
Although the Bundesliga strugglers still ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline, they are only one of two sides to have found the net and crucially stopped Bayern taking the initiative.
Pep Guardiola’s side required two goals in the last 14 minutes to prevail, including a 90th-minute winner.
Press Bayern relentlessly, high up the pitch
One of the worst traps to fall into against sides as dangerous as Bayern (and there haven’t been many of those) is to sit deep.
While Arsenal would expect to concede some possession to a Guardiola-managed side, the Gunners will be picked off quicker than it takes Tesco to make a pound if they allow Bayern space to play.
Don’t play with attacking full-backs
Against lesser sides, which basically includes every other team in Europe, asking full-backs to support in an attacking sense can be of tremendous benefit to goal-getting.
However, given the pace and guile of the likes of Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller on the Bayern flanks, Arsenal must rely on the fluid movement of their midfielders and wide forwards to help unlock the door.
A 0-0 would be a brilliant nest egg of a scoreline to take to Munich.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.