Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal: Tracking Latest Injuries and Potential Starting XIs

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMarch 13, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19:  Philipp Lahm of Bayern Muenchen celebrates after team-mate Mario Mandzukic scored their third goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Arsenal and Bayern Muenchen at Emirates Stadium on February 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Bayern Munich and Arsenal will take center stage in world football Wednesday, when their Champions League round of 16 second-leg match kicks off.

The Bavarians defeated Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium in the opening leg to give them a huge advantage heading back to Germany, but with dogged determination and the presence of Arsene Wenger as manager, it's hard to completely count out the Gunners in this one.

As impossible as it might seem given the mountain ahead of them.

Arsenal will no doubt look to name an aggressive squad given the deficit that they have to make up, but they won't want to go too overboard with it. Similarly, Bayern will want to give themselves adequate defensive coverage but won't want to kill off their star-studded attack as a result of that.

Thus finding the balance for both teams will be a difficult task for both managers—particularly given the injuries that both clubs are currently dealing with.

Read on for all the last-minute information regarding player injuries and status, as well as the potential starting sides for both teams in this one.

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Arsenal Injuries and Updates

BBC Sport reports that a number of players are out for the Gunners heading into this fixture, including Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Wojciech Szczesny.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been rested for Arsenal's Champions League last 16 clash in Germany. Midfielder Jack Wilshere is also missing with an ankle injury and defender Bacary Sagna is out with knee and leg problems.

That comes in addition to England international defender Kieran Gibbs, whose absence forces captain Thomas Vermaelen to play out on the left flank. However, some media outlets are suggesting that the defender could be available for the big game, such as ITV Sport.

The defender was named in the provisional squad to take on Bayern. 

The BBC also reports that Lukas Podolski could miss the match with an ankle injury, but the German international is still likely to line up for this one.

Abou Diaby could be a shock inclusion on to the Gunners' bench as a result of those injuries and his pending return, according to Goal.com.

Arsenal Possible Starting XI

With that in mind, it seems that the Gunners don't have too many options when it comes to their defensive combinations and midfield pairings.

I cannot see Wenger taking a risk on Gibbs here, and with Vermaelen capable of covering his spot, I think he'll win that battle.

Aaron Ramsey also appears as the likely replacement for Wilshere in central midfield, with Santi Cazorla positioned slightly ahead of them, whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could well find himself with a starting berth should Podoski be out.

Courtesy of Lineup Builder, here's my projected Arsenal starting XI.

Bayern Munich Injuries and Updates

Franck Ribery is the big omission for Bayern Munich heading into this one, after sustaining an injury in Bayern's 3-2 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday.

According to BBC Sport, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng are also both suspended for this match and will be unavailable for selection.

Winger Arjen Robben also has a calf strain and faces a late fitness test to be ready, but given the depth available for Bayern Munich, it's likely he won't play.

Bayern Munich Possible Starting XI

The big issue for Bayern is around Robben and who will replace the winger if he does succumb to the injury, with Xherdan Shaqiri the man likely to fill his spot.

That move will likely see Toni Kroos move back into the middle to replace Schweinsteiger, with the regular combination of Luis Gustavo and Javi Martinez behind. 

Courtesy of Lineup Builder, here's my projected Bayern Munich starting XI.

How do you think the two teams will line up for this match?

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