Pre-Match Report

Preview: Bayern Munich v Arsenal

Bayern Munich v Arsenal

Following our 2-2 draw in north London eight days ago, we head to Munich hoping to book our spot in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 15 years.

There’s no questioning the six-time European champions’ pedigree, as in that time Bayern have reached the last four eight times, while they are unbeaten in their last 14 Champions League home matches, averaging three goals per game in that time.

But having captained us to our only win at the Fussball Arena Munchen back in 2013, Mikel Arteta will hope he can guide us to another success against a home side struggling for form and desperate to salvage something from a disappointing campaign.

Bayern wave bye to Bundesliga

Bayern Munich celebrate scoring a goal

Since the first leg last week, the end of Bayern’s stranglehold on the German league title officially ended after 11 years as Granit Xhaka’s Bayer Leverkusen clinched their first-ever Bundesliga crown with seven games to go as they look to complete their own Invincibles campaign.

Thomas Tuchel’s team made them work for it as they ran out 2-0 victors against Cologne on Saturday, as goals from Raphael Guerreiro and Thomas Muller saw them return to winning ways after a three-game wait.

Early exits in the two domestic cup competitions mean Bayern could go trophyless for the first time since 2012, unless they go all the way in the Champions League.

What the managers say

Arteta: "I want my team to be ourselves, regardless of the stadium. Sometimes you want to do certain things and the opponent doesn’t allow you to do it, and we’re going to be very clear how we’re going to play the game, how we want to play the game, and what is going to give us the best chance to win it.

"If we make it happen tomorrow, we are in the semi-final, and we will be in a really highly emotional state - it's something that we haven't achieved as a club for the last 15-17 years and that's the opportunity." - read every word from Mikel’s pre-match press conference

Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel: "I think we have the slight advantage of experience in our team. We have players who have won [the Champions League], we have players who have played decisive matches in this competition. But to make an advantage, we still have to bring out our very best.

"It can also sometimes be an advantage not to have the experience and have the role as contenders, the role as a hunter. That can be a theme for Arsenal, to go for it after so many years. For us it’s not so usual for us to be in a semi-final. 

"We have one decisive match to make the next big step in this beautiful competition. We are determined to bring everything to the table. If the experience within our group brings us an extra 5 per cent we are happy to bring it to the table. But we have to bring it. Nobody will give us anything. It’s like this in this competition. It’s super tough."

Team news

Martin Odegaard is substituted during the game against Aston Villa

Martin Odegaard was forced off in the second half of our game against Aston Villa and while he trained before heading to Germany with the rest of the squad, he will be assessed on Wednesday to see how much he can play.

Other than our skipper, Jurrien Timber is our only other injury concern who remains out with his ACL injury.

Bayern suffered a blow on Saturday as Kingsley Coman is out after picking up a groin injury during the win over Cologne, adding to Thomas Tuchel’s woes as Serge Gnabry limped off in the first leg with a hamstring issue and will also be missing, while Alphonso Davies is suspended.

Sacha Boey returned to training last week as he looks to recover from his own hamstring troubles but fellow right-back Bouna Sarr is definitely out. Manuel Neuer and Leroy Sane were rested on the weekend as a precaution after returning from their own injury issues lately.

Talking tactics

Harry Kane playing for Bayern Munich

Adrian Clarke: Bayern showcased their attacking prowess in the first leg, using their blistering speed to good effect on counters. With so many gifted ball carriers available, our task will be to try and slow down their attacking midfielders, forcing them to check back and pass sideways. Leaving wide open spaces for Leroy Sane or Jamal Musiala to run into is not advised.

It will also be crucial we screen service into Harry Kane better than we did at Emirates Stadium. The England captain dropped off the front cleverly, producing a series of outstanding passes aimed towards the wingers. Cutting off that supply line will be a key tactical element.

With Davies’ suspension, I anticipate Bukayo Saka receiving a lot of the ball. If the Bundesliga side double up on him, it could free up extra space for Martin Odegaard on his inside, who created five chances in the first leg. Bayern left enough defensive gaps in north London to provide us with optimism that we can create quality chances on German soil. When those opportunities arise, we must be clinical.

On home turf Bayern will want to control this game and dominate the bulk of possession. This means we may have to take a pragmatic approach with 11 players behind the ball at times, and look to hurt them on breakaways.

Facts and stats

Bukayo Saka playing against Fulham

Bayern Munich have won just one of their last five knockout games in the Champions League (D2 L2), and have been eliminated at this stage of the competition in each of the last three seasons since winning the competition in 2019/20.

We have won just one of our last six away games in European competition against German sides, though that was our most recent match against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League in September 2019.

Tuchel is looking to qualify for a Champions League semi-final with a third different team, having previously done so with both Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. The only manager to do so with more than three different sides in the competition is Jose Mourinho.

In the knockout stages of the Champions League, Munich have only failed to progress from one of their previous 18 two-legged ties when avoiding defeat in the first leg – against Liverpool in the round of 16 in 2018/19 (0-0 in the first leg, lost 1-3 in the second leg at the Allianz Arena).

We have scored 19 goals in the Champions League this season; only in 2009/10 (21), 2010/11 (21) and 2016/17 (20) have we netted 20 goals in a season.

Harry Kane has scored 15 goals in 20 appearances against us. His seven goals this season is the joint-most by an Englishman in a single edition of the competition alongside Steven Gerrard in 2008/09 and himself in 2017/18.

Bukayo Saka has been directly involved in eight goals in the Champions League this season (four goals, four assists); the most ever by an English player in their debut season in the competition.

Since the start of 2017/18, of players with at least 2,000 minutes in the Champions League, only Erling Haaland (65 minutes), Robert Lewandowski (79) and Kylian Mbappe (80) have a better mins/goal involvement rate than Gabriel Jesus (83 – 24 goals, 7 assists).

Thomas Muller could make his 150th Champions League appearance for Bayern, which would see him become just the third player to reach this milestone for a team in the competition, after Xavi with Barcelona (151) and Iker Casillas with Real Madrid (150).

Previous visits to Munich

We have only won one of our six away games at Bayern, with that victory coming in March 2013 in the second leg of a last-16 tie. On a night when Arteta lined up in our midfield and Neuer and Muller were on Bayern’s teamsheet, goals from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny handed us a 2-0 win, however we were still eliminated by Pep Guardiola’s side on away goals.

Our first two visits were played at the iconic Olympiastadion, with a 1-0 group stage defeat in 2001 followed by a 3-1 triumph for the hosts in the first leg of a round of 16 clash.

After winning on our first visit to the Fussball Arena Munchen, we have lost our last three - a 2-0 defeat in February 2014 after Wojciech Szczesny was red-carded in the first half, followed by consecutive 5-1 defeats in November 2015 and February 2017 - our joint-heaviest away defeats in Europe and the only two occasions in which we have conceded five goals in an away European game.

Live coverage

Breakdown Live

Tune into Breakdown Live on and the official app from an hour before kick-off as Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke provide the best big-game build-up.

They’ll reveal the learnings we can take from the first leg and assess where the game could be won and lost, and check in with Frimmy in Munich to give us a taste of the pre-match atmosphere.

They’ll also look back at a massive goalscoring weekend for our women's and under-18 teams, before handing over to Dan Roebuck and David Hillier for live commentary of all the action.

You can also find out what broadcasters are showing the action wherever you are in the world.

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