Arsenal Draw Bayern Munich in UEFA Champions League Last 16

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2012

VALENCIA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 20:  Javi Martinez of Bayern Muenchen looks on before the UEFA Champions League group F match between Valencia CF and FC Bayern Muenchen at Estadio Mestalla on November 20, 2012 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Arsenal have paid the price for failing to top their UEFA Champions League group. The Gunners have been handed a tough draw against Bayern Munich in the last 16, according to

Facing the Bundesliga leaders is Arsenal's fate after finishing runners-up to Schalke 04 in Group B. A costly home defeat to Schalke has consigned Arsenal to a daunting tie against the four-time winners.

Bayern lost season's final to Chelsea on penalties. They are certainly playing this season like a team determined to make up for that painful failing.

An experienced, deep and talented team, Bayern have to be considered among the competition's favourites. Manager Jupp Heynckes' side can boast some elite attacking flair.

In particular, fleet-footed Dutch forward Arjen Robben will be familiar to Arsenal. Robben dominated the English Premier League, helping Chelsea capture two titles in 2005 and 2006.

However, Arsene Wenger's team need to be concerned with more than just Robben. Munich also feature talents like Javi Martinez, Toni Kroos and Franck Ribery.

Arsenal may be viewed as a soft touch given their domestic struggles this season. However, that would be dangerous thinking from Bayern.

Wenger is an experienced hand in the Champions League. His record of consistency in the competition can be matched by few others.

The big question is do Arsenal have the firepower to seriously contend for the trophy? Firepower is not something Bayern are short of. They are a free-scoring force who are currently dominating the Bundesliga.

They currently sit nine points clear at the top. Munich also top the league charts in scoring, having bagged an impressive 44 goals in 17 games.

Matching that scoring potential will be key for Arsenal. That could take some investment in January as well as a tactical shift for the club's current strikers.

The balance of the team is still not quite right in attack. At least the mercurial Santi Cazorla provides goals from midfield.

Yet fixing the forward line has to be Wenger's top priority before the first leg against Bayern set for mid-February. The Gunners begin the tie at the home and must earn a positive result before the trip to the imposing Allianz Arena in early March.