Bayern Munich are set to clash with Arsenal in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match, but they will be without one of their best players.
Bayern star Franck Ribery has been ruled out of the final leg against Arsenal Wednesday afternoon with an ankle injury.
It is nothing to fret for Bayern fans, though. They must look no further than the 3-1 aggregate lead they have over the Gunners in this Round of 16 matchup. More importantly, those three goals came on the road, meaning Arsenal would have to outscore Bayern by three to advance outright today.
Bayern Munich can also take solace in the fact that the second leg is being played behind their home crowd. They haven't lost at home since October 28 of 2012 against Bayer Leverkusen, and their worst defeat of the entire season was a 3-1 loss at BATE Borisov last October.
Even if they lose to Arsenal 2-1 like they did against Leverkusen, or 3-1 in the first round of Champions League play against BATE Borisov, they will still advance today.
The beauty of building up an aggregate score in the first leg is that Bayern Munich can take a breather in the second leg. In no sense of the word am I saying Bayern should lay down and let Arsenal run rampant. It is simply easing to Bayern fans and players to know that the team doesn't have to play a perfect game to advance.
There is no doubt Bayern Munich must come out of the gates with the intensity they have all season. And there is no indication manager Jupp Heynckes will allow them to be complacent. Bayern currently have a 20-point lead over the second-place team in the Bundesliga and have had a comfortable lead for the majority of the year. Yet they haven't been complacent once and have just kept winning.
That will be no different today.
Bayern needs no extra help, as they already are the superior team in the match today. They will get some extra help, though, with a 3-1 aggregate lead, home-field advantage and the fact Arsenal will also be without their top players. Lukas Podolski has been ruled out with and ankle injury, while Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be rested as well.
Arsene Wegner believes a win is "not impossible" for Arsenal. Given the circumstances, a win may be possible, but advancing to the next stage is all but impossible.
No Ribery, no problem. Bayern Munich are set up to waltz into the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League over Arsenal on Wednesday.
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