Bayern Munich v Arsenal Preview

Published 14/02/17 

Arsenal face a real challenge to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, with Bayern Munich lying in wait on Wednesday night.

The Gunners have been knocked out at the last-16 stage for the past six seasons in a row, and Carlo Ancelotti's Bundesliga behemoths will likely provide Arsene Wenger's men with as stern a test as any team left in the competition.

Arsenal head to Germany with morale on the up after beating Hull on Saturday to end the weekend 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, though the Champions League and FA Cup perhaps represent the best chances of silverware for Wenger this season.

Bayern have not quite been at the brilliant best under former Chelsea manager Ancelotti, but they fact that they still lead the Bundesliga by seven points proves they are in no mood for an Allianz Arena upset.

TEAM NEWS

Hector Bellerin returned to Arsenal's starting XI for the victory against Hull after suffering concussion against Chelsea last weekend, and will almost certainly start once again in Munich.

The other flank raises questions for Arsene Wenger.

Kieran Gibbs started ahead of Nacho Monreal against the Tigers, but the Spaniard will likely come back in after the English wing-back was fortunate not to be sent off on Saturday for a last-man challenge.

Granit Xhaka is available for the first time since his sending-off against Burnley in January, although Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla remain sidelined for the Gunners.

Wenger faces a tough decision regarding his front line, with the likes of Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Lucas Perez all in goalscoring form along with first-choice forward Alexis Sanchez.

Bayern star Franck Ribery has a chance of returning from a hamstring injury in time to face Arsenal, while centre-back Jerome Boateng remains sidelined with a shoulder problem.

Xabi Alonso is a doubt for the match after limping out of training on Monday with a knee injury.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS

Bayern: Neuer, Lahm, Hummels, Martinez, Alaba, Thiago, Alonso, Vidal, Lewandowski, Muller, Robben

Arsenal : Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Elneny, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck

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