Arsenal v Bayern Munich Betting Prediction | Score Draw Bet with BetfairPublished March 7, 2017
There will be something of a theme which will appear in the Champions League last 16 second legs, and that is the home teams coming out full of intensity after heavy defeats almost put them to the sword away from home.
First up, and perhaps more than most is Arsenal. The Gunners have a point to prove against Bayern Munich after a humiliating 5-1 defeat at the Allianz Arena. Another loss to Liverpool in the Premier League at the weekend once again exposed similar issues.
On pitch issues have been complimented by speculation over the futures of both Arsene Wenger and Alexis Sanchez. Wenger’s relationship with fans took a hit after the game in Munich and he is seriously considering his future, with his contract running out in the summer. Sanchez, the club’s talisman, has around 15 months to run on his deal and is stalling on re-signing for a number of reasons. The hysteria surrounding the pair did not die down at Anfield after Wenger started the Chilean on the bench in the 3-1 defeat.
It is incredibly unlikely that Sanchez will not play from the start against Bayern here, and he will hope he will have Mesut Özil alongside him to help put the pressure on the Bundesliga champions from the start. The German international missed the Liverpool game with illness, but there is no word as of yet if he will return to the squad.
In truth, Arsenal face a near impossible task in this game. Not only are Bayern out of sight right now, but they have the ability to add to their lead on the counter attack, with the likes of Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman possessing the pace to get up the pitch at pace, as Arsenal will look to dominate the game in the early stages. Thiago Alcantara’s performance was immaculate last week, too, controlling the tempo of the game in the second half as well as playing key passes and getting on the scoresheet himself.
Arsenal started well last week, just as they will look to this time, but the mental strength of the squad was called into question when the second goal, scored by Robert Lewandowski, went in. From there, they imploded, dropped off and allowed the Spain international the space to hurt them, and Granit Xhaka has struggled to stop the issues in defensive midfield this season, but he’ll have to step up.
Arsenal will look to exploit the issues in Bayern’s defence. Jerome Boateng misses through injury, while Philipp Lahm is suspended. Carlo Ancelotti has already said Brazilian defender Rafinha will step into Lahm’s big boots, and although he is good going forward, he is liable to leaving gaps in behind him. Getting Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi to run in behind him, whilst playing direct passes into those areas, will give them a foothold on the night, if not the tie.
Not losing here will at least save some pride for Arsenal, and that is what they will look to do. Bayern’s gameplan is already written, and they should see the job through, but may not get a win at the Emirates.