Bayern Munich will host Arsenal on Tuesday with a trip to the Champions League quarterfinals at stake.
The defending European Cup winners head into this week's pivotal clash with a two-goal advantage on aggregate after stifling the Gunners at the Emirates in the first leg on Feb. 19.
As a result, Franck Ribery and Co. will have additional room for error at home on Tuesday, putting the pressure squarely on Arsene Wenger's English side, who had no answers for Bayern the first time around.
The German powerhouse possessed the ball for four-fifths of the match and scored two second-half goals after Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off with a red card late in the first half. Adding to Arsenal's concerns on Tuesday is the fact Szczesny will be forced to sit out as a direct result of his sending off in the opening leg.
Still, Arsenal will be filled with belief after snagging a 2-0 win at Bayern a year ago.
With the stage set for another monumental Champions League matchup, let's get you set with everything you need to know ahead of kickoff.
Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Start Time: 8:45 p.m. local time, GMT (3:45 p.m. ET)
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich
TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S.), ITV 1 (U.K.)
Bayern Munich: 74.6 percent
Arsenal: 8.1 percent
Draw: 17.3 percent
*According to Bloomberg Sports.
What's at Stake
Although they enter with a comfortable cushion on aggregate and as favorites to prevail, Bayern's hopes of repeating as European champions will be on the line on Tuesday. Despite their struggles in the first leg, Arsenal are a dangerous team with attacking weapons of their own.
Nonetheless, those weapons will be rendered ineffective if Arsenal are unable to retain the ball and generate scoring chances.
But Wenger is confident his team can fight back in Munich, per BBC Sport's Phil McNulty:
It was important for us to win to put us in a good frame of mind psychologically. We can be inspired by our focus and desire and now go to Bayern with the same spirit...The statistics go against us, but let's make sure the performance goes for us and then we have a chance.
For Arsenal, Tuesday's match will provide a shot to avenge last year's Champions League round of 16 loss to Bayern. The Gunners should be energized and feeling good about their chances after scoring a 2-0 win over Bayern in Munich last season. However, a win won't be good enough, as Arsenal will need to erase their two-goal deficit and shut down the German side's vaunted attack in the process.
Although Arsenal are unlikely to overcome their two-goal deficit in Munich on Tuesday, they can generate some positive momentum for the Premier League title race with a strong performance. But in order to achieve even the slightest success against the reigning champions, the Gunners will need to possess the ball.
BBC Sport's Robbie Savage breaks down Arsenal's biggest obstacle:
Arsenal did at least come out and try to get at Bayern early on but they still only had 31 percent of the ball in the first 45 minutes. That dropped to just 12 percent in the second half, when the German team were completely dominant after Wojciech Szczesny was sent off...When a team presses, it poses a different problem. Bayern, in particular, are effective at disrupting their opponents' rhythm, while maintaining their own passing game.
There's no guarantee that possession will lead to goals for the Gunners, but it's safe to say that they don't stand a chance unless they can earn their fair share of touches.
Considering how dominant Bayern were in that category three weeks ago, it's not difficult to see why they are expected to finish the job at home on Tuesday. Expect a much-improved Arsenal attack this time around, but not one potent enough to knock off Bayern on their home pitch.
Bayern Munich 3, Arsenal 1
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