BayMuncherX, that extra terrestrial phenomenon from Pluto that annihilates every planetary body on its path and consumes its resources landed on Earth and waged an intergalactic war against the good human guys, Gooners. The good guys fought with all their might and the thing from Pluto had no answers to the Gooners canons and surrendered meekly. Ok, I will put an end to the Hollywood stuff, I don’t know why I started with this planetary analogy, but what I know is that the mission is quite galactic. On a more footballing sense, Arsenal meet Bayern Munich in the return leg of Round of 16 at AllianzArena, where Bayern haven’t lost a game since dinosaurs walked the earth.
The Germans are the favorites to defend their European title and have already etched their name on the Bundesliga title for the next two decades. They romped Wolfsburg 6-1 in their last league outing and scored 5 goals in 17 minutes in that game. At the Emirates they were on the ropes in the opening quarter, where it not for the unfortunate penalty miss and the harsh sending off who knows Arsenal might have bought a lead to Munich to cling onto. So they do have some chinks in their armour. Ribery returns after missing the first leg due to a surgery and Robben will want to express himself again as he ostensibly bids to represent his country for diving and swimming in Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Good luck chap. Munich do have some genuine footballers Gotze, Muller and the guy who may play under Moyes at ManUnited next season crossing balls, Kroos and their Captain Lahm. They will want to avenge for their near embarrassment last season and Arsenal can expect a well prepared side that will monopolize the ball and suffocate the opponents.
Arsenal must believe. Arteta and Giroud stressed on the need of an early goal and the psychological edge it gives Arsenal. Gibbs is out but Koscielny returns. Bayern may be slightly apprehensive after what happened last season( I sincerely hope Pep reads this, gets infuriated, loses his cool, does a Keegan and his team bottles it.). Arsenal will follow the same blueprint as of last season and a clean chit is imperative. A 2-0 win will take the game to extra time and Bayern will feel the heat if Arsenal score first. Chamberlain is the fan’s favorite to start but I suspect Arsene will go for extra midfield body handing Rosicky a start. Flamini and Arteta will sit in front of the defence and protect the back four. Bayern have got players who could strike it from distance and those passes from the midfield to attack have to be cut off.
OUT- Ramsey, Kallstrom, Walcott, Wilshere, Diaby, Gibbs
MAN TO WATCH
Bayern Munich- Toni Kroos
Kroos I would say was the difference in that first leg and he ran the midfield. He brings something different to the side and it will be a shame if he leaves Munich this season. Arsenal mustn’t allow him to settle on the ball and harass him into mistakes.
Arsenal- Mesut Ozil
It’s hard to look beyond Mesut Ozil in this game. He was inspiring against Everton and if there is a game he needs to stamp his authority, it doesn’t come much bigger than this. Arsenal need Ozil at his best and he needs him at his best.
Bayern 2- Arsenal1
Bayern 0- Arsenal3