The Londoners were outplayed when they met the defending champions last season at the Emirates as Bayern ran out clear winners 3-1. The Gunners made a strong comeback in the second leg when they visited Allianz Arena but their 2-0 win was not good enough to see them through to the next round.
However, the Arsenal team this season are a much improved lot and are highly unlikely to surrender meekly to their German opponents. They have been one of the most consistent teams in the English Premier League and sit second in the table a point behind leaders Chelsea.
The arrival of German playmaker Mesut Ozil in the summer for a record sum has significantly bolstered their ranks and look to be a more competitive outfit this season. However, the Bayern juggernaut hardly seems to slow down under Pep Guardiola and continue to remain favorites to retain their European crown.
Arsenal’s confidence, which took a massive beating earlier when they succumbed to an embarrassing 5-1 defeat to Liverpool, has been given a massive boost by their recent 2-1 victory over the Reds in the FA cup.
From Arsenal’s perspective, they would be significantly bolstered in the middle of the park by Mathieu Flamini’s return whose ball winning skills can prove decisive against a potent Bayern attack. Especially with Arteta missing, Flamini could well turn out to be a game changer for Wenger’s boys.
Bayern would be missing their star winger Franck Ribery for the first leg and his replacement Xherdan Shaqiri is also set to miss the fixture. Pep Guardiola would not find trouble to field a strong competitive side because of the vast array of options that he has at his disposal.