Preview: Fright night for Arsenal as Bayern Munich comes to town

AP , Monday 19 Oct 2015

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich
Arsenal's Santi Cazorla, right, and Bayern's Mario Goetze challenge for the ball during a Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich at the Emirates stadium in London, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 (AP)

If Arsenal is to turn around its miserable Champions League campaign, Arsene Wenger's side will have to do it in style - by beating five-time champion Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Consecutive defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos have backed Arsenal into a corner of its own making. The only glimmer of hope is that the north Londoners will at least have home advantage at Emirates Stadium.

However, the odds will still be stacked in favor of Pep Guardiola's German champions.

With Dinamo hosting Olympiakos, and both sides on three points, the opportunity is there for one to lay claim to the runners-up slot, halfway through the group stage.

Here are some things to know about Tuesday's matches:

ARSENAL FOCUSES ON FIRST BLOOD Arsene Wenger has put the emphasis on scoring first - and early - in what could be a cagey encounter when his team hosts group leader and clear favorite Bayern Munich.

''We want to defend well, attack well, score the first goal,'' Wenger said Monday. ''That is massively important in the big games. You can never promise you will score three goals in 20 minutes, because that would be absolutely crazy. What we can do is start in a strong way and that is what we will try to do.''

His team's form in Europe has been a sharp contrast to its success so far this season in the Premier League, where it lies second in the standings.

One explanation is that Arsenal players have simply underestimated the quality of their opponents in their earlier Group F matches.

Wenger all but acknowledged that, saying: ''We maybe could be a little suspected of not taking the first two games at the level of not taking the opponent seriously enough.''

It will need to be different on Tuesday. ---


Bayern head into the game looking for its 13th consecutive win, one that would go a long way toward securing top slot in the group.

''This is what we want: first place in the group. And to achieve that we need to win the matches in London and Munich,'' club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Afraid of traffic delays in London, Bayern traveled Sunday night, with winger Douglas Costa in the party. Costa missed the weekend win at Werder Bremen, along with four other players who can play on the flanks - Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Mario Goetze and Kingsley Coman.

Coman is also available again, but the other three are missing the match.

Bayern had trouble penetrating Bremen's defense on Saturday without real wingers, despite coming away with a 1-0 win.

Despite recent results, Bayern players are certain that Arsenal will be a tougher opponent than its position in the group would suggest.

''Everybody knows that they are stronger than the zero points. They have very good individual players,'' captain Philipp Lahm said.


On paper, the meeting between Dinamo and Olympiakos looks evenly balanced. Both have beaten Arsenal and lost to Bayern without scoring - with the Croatians being hammered 5-0 and the Greeks going down 3-0.

However, the stats point to Dinamo coming away with all three points. Not only will it have home advantage in Zagreb, but Dinamo has only lost one of its last 48 matches in all competitions - the Champions League rout in Munich.

In reply, Olympiakos is the only team in the Greek league to have won every match this season.

But that's after just seven games.

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