Two very different teams will line-up in the Emirates stadium on Tuesday night: Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, a team consisting—in almost equal parts—of extraordinary talent and youthful naivety; and Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern Munich, a team that positively bristles with German steel and industry.
Both sides have endured contrasting campaigns.
Bayern sit comfortably on top of the Bundesliga, with 14 points separating them and second-place Borussia Dortmund, and are undefeated away from home in the league all season with only one defeat overall.
Meanwhile, Arsenal flounder just outside the Champions League places with only three wins and two defeats in their last six games.
As with any Champions League knockout round, both teams have a fair chance of progression, but there are a number of factors that are potentially decisive. Despite it feeling like we will be saying this indefinitely, Arsenal are a team in transition—at least, far more so than Bayern.
For the North London club to break Bayern’s typically steely resolve (strengthened by their fantastic form), it is going to take star turns from several key players.