Arsenal have never won the top honors in the UEFA Champions League and have their work cut out for them when they host Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
The Gunners have largely underperformed this season, but are still in a familiar fourth-place spot in the English Premier League table. Last year the north London side was embarrassed at San Siro by AC Milan and then eliminated from the Round of 16 by the Italians at The Emirates.
On the other hand, the German side is looking to avenge a disappointing European Cup loss to Chelsea. After dominating the first 87 minutes of their final tie against Chelsea, the German giants slipped up and allowed an equalizer from Didier Drogba. The English club shocked them in penalty kicks to steal the cup, leaving them wanting and waiting for another chance.
This is that chance. It is going to take a remarkable showing from Arsenal in order to deny the Bavarians another shot at the Cup.
When: Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 2:45 p.m. ET (7:45 p.m. GMT)
Where: Emirates Stadium, London
Watch: FOX Soccer Channel
Live Stream: FOX Soccer 2Go
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s inability to address injury problems on his side during January’s midseason transfer window may end up being a key difference maker in this one. The Gunners are outmanned as left-back Kieran Gibbs is due to sit out the entire tie with Bayern Munich.
Scoring has eluded Wenger’s side for much of the season, too, despite the manager adding several pieces during the 2012 summer transfer window.
Bayern Munich have not been a club plagued by struggles and inconsistency. They are currently atop of the German Bundesliga, losing just once all season.
That domestic success hasn’t exactly translated to European dominance, though, as the Bavarians faltered a bit at times during the CL group stage. Their struggles were most prevalent away from Allianz Arena.
If Arsenal can get out to a quick start and press forward to keep the Germans’ high-flying attack grounded they may have a chance. It’s going to take a huge effort from Wenger’s Gunners, but they’ll hold their own at The Emirates and head to Germany next month with a shot at advancing—albeit a small one.
Prediction—Arsenal 1, Bayern Munich 1