Bayern Munich and Arsenal have unfinished business.
The German side dumped Arsene Wenger's men out of last season's Champions League before claiming the trophy in London. After being paired together in the round of 16 once again, Pep Guardiola's high-flying side beat the Gunners 2-0 in a controversial match at the Emirates.
The first leg saw Mesut Ozil have an early penalty saved by childhood friend Manuel Neuer, Wojciech Szczesny dismissed for a debatable foul on Arjen Robben, and David Alaba hit the post from the resulting spot-kick. Goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller eventually broke Arsenal's resistance, but the Gunners will take heart from almost turning around a similar result in last year's clash.
Bayern scraped through on away goals after beating Arsenal 3-1 in England, losing 2-0 in Germany during their 2013 contests. Should Wenger's team grind out the same result in Munich, they will be right back in the tie. Can the Premier League side perform such heroics, or will it be business as usual for Bayern?
When: Tuesday, March 11 at 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Chances: Bayern Munich (74.6 percent), Arsenal (8.1 percent), Draw (17.3 percent), according to Bloomberg Sports.
There's little doubt Bayern are the form team heading into this one. Guardiola's side racked up a record 16th consecutive Bundesliga victory with their frightening 6-1 win over Wolfsburg, as noted by Bleacher Report UK:
To make matters more daunting for Arsenal, the German side could have played without Neuer across their last six Bundesliga games and still won, per OptaFranz:
Arsenal have emerged victorious in four of their last nine in all competitions, losing three games during this time, including the initial defeat to Bayern.
The visitors will need the majority of possession if they are to take control, a feat that is extremely difficult at the Allianz Arena. Short, sharp passes can stop Bayern's influence on the ball and will halt players such as Kroos moving forward, but this is easier said than done.
Mikel Arteta's and Mathieu Flamini's ability to regain possession will be key in the middle. This is an Arsenal side that can sweep forward quickly with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla supporting Olivier Giroud. They need to continue this trend against the German champions, albeit while ensuring a solid base remains in central positions.
Kieran Gibbs played confidently before succumbing to injury during the first game. His confidence down the left can halt Bayern's assertiveness on the wing, but he will need to continuously track back to ensure that the likes of Robben fail to run wild.
It is extremely hard to suggest Arsenal can overturn a two-goal deficit against Guardiola's team. The Gunners showed little sign of scoring during the opening clash, perhaps due to having 10 men for the majority of the match, as Yaya Sanogo appeared isolated up front.
Olivier Giroud will need to make an impact when he starts the second tie. Bayern are used to taking control and continuously tightening their grip throughout, meaning Arsenal must make life difficult from the off.
The English team have absolutely nothing to lose. It's safe to say the first goal is a hugely important one, signalling either the end of the tie or the beginning of a fightback. Unfortunately for Wenger and his team, Arsenal need to score at least three to go through without the aid of penalties.
If a shootout is to go ahead, the Gunners must net two without conceding. The possibility of either scenario taking place appears extremely unlikely considering each side's current form.
Arsenal to put up a fight and fall short.
Prediction: Bayern 2-1 Arsenal (4-1 on aggregate)
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