The two sides have been meeting on regular basis over the past few years, with visitors usually emerging victorious, but if there was a time for Arsenal to end a run of two straight home defeats to Bayern Munich, it is now. Namely, the Gunners would be on the verge of group stage exit if they fail to win this game.
We all know that the current season did not have the best of starts for Arsenal, but the team have showed a great deal of character and successfully returned to the right track. The Gunners had been paying the price of Alexis Sanchez’s involvement at the 2015 Copa America, and as soon as the Chilean rediscovered his form, so did Arsenal. It was the Capital One Cup victory over arch rivals Tottenham that proved the turning point for the Gunners even though they have since also suffered a 3-2 home loss to Olympiakos which seriously damaged team’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages. Arsenal then produced a memorable response, hammering rivals Manchester United 3-0 at the Emirates to prove they can still beat even the best sides on their day. The weekend’s win over Watford was not achieved with the same ease, but another 3-0 triumph will have done wonders for the players’ confidence ahead of what is arguably the most important match in the opening exchanges. Having lost the first two Champions League fixtures, Arsenal desperately need a win to keep their qualifying hopes alive, and Arsene Wenger was happy to welcome back Gabriel Paulista to the side, while Olivier Giroud returns from suspension. However, the likes of Welbeck, Wilshere, Rosicky, Ospina and Flamini are all out injured.
Unlike their English counterparts, Bayern Munich had absolutely no problems at the start of the new season and the German champions have yet to drop their first points. Having seen the likes of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben miss a large chunk of the previous campaign through injury, the Bavarians decided to splash out on Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal, and this has proved to be an excellent decision. And while the Chilean has yet to make the expected impact having struggled through injury, the Brazilian winger has been absolutely amazing so far and it is his excellent performances that seriously helped Robert Lewandowski score impressive 16 goals in 12 matches. While the weekend’s 1-0 win over Werder is clearly the result of preparations for the Arsenal game, it is important to note that Bayern had won six matches prior to the game at Weserstadion by a margin of three goals or more. This is enough to suggest that Arsenal face a gargantuan task of defeating the Europe’s in-form side, but, whatever happens, we do expect to see a highly entertaining match. Arjen Robben and Mario Gotze both miss out through injury, but Kingsley Coman returns.
Arsenal are playing with a great deal of confidence at the moment, as witnessed by the record of 15 goals scored in last 5 matches, whereas Bayern Munich have been relentless this term and boast a thoroughly impressive front line. As a result, both teams to score looks a good option here.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 8/15
Bookmaker: William Hill
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