Some two weeks after Arsenal became the first team to defeat Bayern Munich this season, the two teams meet again, and while the venue is different, the stakes are just as high as in the first match. The Bavarians and Gunners are tied on points with Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb respectively, and this is the match where they can seriously improve their chances of making it to the next stage.
While they have suffered a couple of slip-ups in recent weeks, Bayern Munich have been relentless in the opening exchanges, hinting they could be back challenging for the Champions League trophy. And even if Arturo Vidal has yet to prove his worth having largely struggled with injuries in recent months, fellow summer recruit Douglas Costa made everyone forget all about Franck Ribery. The Brazilian has been incredibly influential at the start of his career at Allianz Arena and many believe his impressive showings are the reason behind Robert Lewandowski’s outstanding scoring record. Anyhow, it is the entire Bayern team that have got to take credit for the impressive results, as Pep Guardiola appears to have finally found the winning formula. Chances are nobody at the club will be too worried by the weekend’s draw against Eintracht Frankfurt as the team will take the Arsenal game much more seriously, with revenge clearly on their minds after the 2-0 loss in North London. The good news is that Arjen Robben is back in business and ready to face the Gunners, whereas Mehdi Benatia has recovered from injury as well, but he is unlikely to start. Meanwhile, Sebastian Rode, Mario Gotze, Franck Ribery and Juan Bernat are on the sidelines.
Arsenal were at a crossroads following a slow start to the new season as few more poor results would probably have seriously damaged team’s chances of turning this campaign into a success. And even if they had recorded two impressive wins prior to that match, there was a lot of riding on the Champions League clash against Bayern Munich seeing that a defeat or even a draw would make qualifying for the knockout stage virtually impossible. But, that was when Arsene Wenger’s charges showed a real character, having coped really well against Europe’s in-form side before scoring two late goals to record an invaluable win. The most important thing is that the Gunners have since continued with impressive showings in the Premier League, recording back to back wins over Everton and Swansea, and given the current injury situation, the 3-0 League Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday was probably the best thing that could have happened to Arsenal. With Joel Campbell marking his return to side with a goal and both Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez in very good form, it is realistic to expect that the Gunners can score at least once at Allianz Arena.
Bayern Munich will be desperate to make amends for the defeat at the Emirates and Arsenal defenders could find it hard to contain the likes of Lewandowski, Costa, Robben and Muller. Likewise, the Gunners should be able to make life difficult for Bayern defenders, so we recommend betting on both teams to score.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 8/11