Arsenal London vs. Bayern Munich (Champions League. February 19th)
Bayern Munich knows how to cruise through Bundesliga in great style, as their recent win against Freiburg extended their unbeaten run to 46 matches. Dante opened the scoring table before the 20th minute mark and Xherdan Shaqiri netted a brace, to have Pizarro score a fourth goal that would give Bayern another win to nil.
On the not so bright side for the team, Shaqiri picked up an injury and will be out for at least two weeks and thus missing out on the Arsenal clash this Wednesday. Pep Guardiola took the wise decision to rest some of the stars, and avoid the potential injuries to be able to have his most bright talents shine only on the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking of Arsenal, our hosts won on Sunday against Liverpool, even if they were not the best team, but of course Arsene Wenger rested some of the key players he thinks will make a difference this Wednesday. Our own Lukas Podolski played and did quite wonderfully, though the real questions is whether he will start against us or come on as a substitute.
Jack Wilshere, Cazorla, and of course, Olivier Giroud are all expected to start for the Gunners, and rumor has it that Oxlade-Chamberlain might see his way into the Arsenal squad should the situation get really tough. In a recent interview Mesut Ozil praised his future opponents and fellow national teammates by saying that Bayern Munich has gotten better since winning the treble and the Club World Cup.
Bayern stands now in Arsenal’s way and hopes of winning the title, which as odds from the bookies show is not going to go further than the last 16 of the competition. Granted it will be much tougher than last year, but everyone still remembers what happened last season. After the win at Emirates, Bayern lost at Allianz Arena, and qualified on away goals. After that the team didn’t lose any match, and went on to win the 5th Champions League title.
Arsenal wants revenge, our team wants to go through, and it will be interesting to observe where the goals will come from. Bayern capitalized against Freiburg on wide spaces left unguarded and we’re assuming Arsenal is better than that. A class act from Guardiola would imply fielding both Müller and Robben, though if he drops again the false nine starting eleven we could very well see Mandzukic paired up with Mario Götze, and then the midfield will get an extra boost. Schweinsteiger and Pizarro might be left on the bench as a lucky charm in case things go south as Guardiola always seems to have a backup plan for the last 20 or so minutes of the match.
A draw in the first leg is accounted for at 3.75, and an outright Bayern win is at 1.80 at Ladbrokes. If you’ll go for the future betting markets and predict Bayern Munich to qualify further, then the odds are 1.20, and the odd number of goals is at 1.90, now with everything being said: “Auf geht’s Bayern kämpfen und siegen”.