Arsene Wenger believes Bayern Munich's attacking output is less effective than last season, saying Pep Guardiola's team are "less dangerous" than the relentless goalscoring force of 2013's Champions League-winning team.
The Arsenal boss spoke exclusively to Eurosport and suggested Bayern are missing the influence of Franck Ribery:
Last year, Ribery and [Arjen] Robben were playing together and they were in great shape, so Bayern were really powerful going forward.
This year they still have an awful lot of possession, but I think they're less dangerous—I think we saw that at Arsenal. Even though we were playing with 10 players they didn't really create an awful lot.
The Bundesliga side beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates during their recent Champions League round of 16 first-leg fixture, an encounter severely hampered by Wojciech Szczesny being sent off for a foul on Arjen Robben.
Will Arsenal overcome Bayern Munich's 2-0 lead in the Champions League?
Although David Alaba missed the resulting penalty—replicating Mesut Ozil's feat moments after the German saw his limp attempt saved—goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller handed the European champions two precious away goals.
Wenger will still have hopes of turning the tie around. Goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny saw the Gunners overcome Bayern 2-0 at the Allianz Arena last year, making the score 3-3 on aggregate after an initial 3-1 result at the Emirates, but Arsenal were eliminated on away goals.
The same result in Germany would usher the clash toward extra time. Even so, there's no denying the English club have a momentous task ahead of them.
Wenger's suggestion that Bayern are lacking lethality may be misguided, as noted by Bleacher Report UK:
Bayern are undefeated in 23 Bundesliga games this season, dropping just four points in total, and they currently sit 20 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who topped Arsenal's Champions League group.
Aside from a defeat in the German Super Cup final to Jurgen Klopp's men during Guardiola's first competitive game as boss, the Spanish manager has only conceded defeat to Manchester City since being installed.
Are Bayern less dangerous than last year?
Arsenal have taken their foot off the gas in recent times. Losses against Liverpool, Bayern and Stoke have littered their last six games in all competitions, while the 0-0 draw with a poor Manchester United side will also disappoint many.
Now four points behind Chelsea in the Premier League, Wenger's team must ensure they quickly find consistency ahead of a season-defining month.
A tricky FA Cup tie with Everton looms before the Bayern game, suggesting Arsenal could throw away their full range of prospects if a return to form isn't conjured up.