As the clock gradually winds towards the Champions League round-of-16 game at the Allianz Arena, one can only ponder what the outcome will be.
The return of Granit Xhaka to the side will provide the needed steel in the middle of the park however, we are all too aware of the threat The Bavarians pose on the wings.
With the likes of Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa to be deployed on the flanks and David Alaba and Rafinha as overlapping full backs, the Gunners have no choice but to take a leaf out of Diego Simeone’s Athletico Madrid’s playbook.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed his approach to this game. Here is what he had to say;
Yes, we’ve had bad experiences against them,” he said. “But I feel that this is a good opportunity.
“We have won there before and we play the first game away from home, so it’s important we protect the second game because I feel that to have a chance to qualify in the second leg, that will be very important. We go there not high, but to defend well as a team.
With Thomas Müller out of form, Thiago Alcantara is expected to retain his spot in the starting line-up. As a result of this development, leaving pockets of space behind will be tantamount to defeat.
We must attack and defend as a unit. Hence, in the event Özil isn’t prepared to track back consistently throughout the game, then he should be left out and Iwobi should take his spot.
This is how the starting 11 of Bayern Munich might look…
(GK)Manuel Neuer, (RB)Rafinha, (LB)David Alaba, (RCB)Hummels, (LCB)Javi Martinez, (DM)Philipp Lahm, (CM)Arturo Vidal, (CAM)Thiago Alcantara, (RW)Arjen Robben, (LW)Douglas Costa and (CF)Robert Lewandoski.
Hence, we are likely to see a mirror of the formation deployed by the North London club for most of this season. However, unlike the Gunners, theirs will take the outlook of a conventional 4-3-3.
For the North London club, the following lineup should be capable of all but securing progression to the next stage. This is how the Emirates club are expected to Line-up:
PREDICTED LINE-UP: (GK)David Ospina, (RB)Hector Bellerin, (RCB)Mustafi, (LCB)Koscielny, (LB)Monreal, (DM)Xhaka, (CM)Coquelin, (CAM)Iwobi, (RW)Lucas Perez, (LW)Danny Welbeck, (CF)Alexis Sanchez.
Subs; Oxlade, Cech, Giroud, Elneny, Walcott, Maitland-Niles.
Formation: 4-2-3-1, MatchDay: Wednesday 15th February 2017, Venue: Allianz Arena, Kickoff: 20:45 GMT + 1
Prediction: 1-2 based on the above selection.
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