With Paris Saint-Germain taking Barcelona apart in yesterday’s Champions League match, can Arsene Wenger use the French club’s example to inspire his Gunners tonight at the Allianz Arena?
Bayern in bother?
Coach Carlo Ancelotti is supposedly struggling to live up to Pep Guardiola’s reputation at Bayern Munich; in fairness, even Pep Guardiola struggles to live up to Pep Guardiola’s reputation these days. But anyway, Bayern look suspiciously robust for a club that are supposed to be in trouble.
The German side are unbeaten in 11 and have won 10 of those. They top the Bundesliga by seven points. Forward Robert Lewandowski has already scored 23 club goals – including five in the Champions League. As Mark Twain would have it, reports of the side’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
And what of the Gunners? Lest we forget, they earned this meeting with Bayern by winning their Champions League group. Not perhaps the easy ride the team might have been hoping for; still, a decent performance in Europe might be the only thing that’ll shut up the jabbering malcontents over at ArsenalFanTv right now.
Any realistic hope of a shot at the Premier League title has surely withered and died, with the side losing to Watford and Chelsea in successive games. Now Wenger’s team have only Cup success to shoot for – but second only to Arsenal’s consistency in finishing fourth in the league is their ability to exit the Champions League in the round of 16. It’s happened in each of the last six seasons.
Looking for more Arsenal absurdity to bamboozle you? The Gunners are on more than a nodding acquaintance with Munich, having met with them on three previous occasions in the last four years. Each time, Bayern have progressed at the expense of the North London club.
A glimmer of hope is to be found in Arsenal’s record at the Allianz, though; They won 2-0 here back in 2013, and earned a 1-1 draw three years ago. If you’re starting to feel dangerously optimistic, it might be worth remembering Bayern won this contest 5-1 in 2015, however.
Bayern are 4/9. The draw is 37/10. And Arsenal are a sizable 13/2. Given the Gunner’s odd ability to turn it on when you’re least expecting it, backing that outcome really might not be such a bad move. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll still get knocked out – but I could still see them earning a notable victory here, only to take a beating at the Emirates next month…
If you’re not willing to back a side that lost to Watford last month, fair enough, we get that. And maybe it’s worth bearing in mind that the Champion’s League’s already had one massive upset, with yesterday’s 4-0 win for PSG. It could be too much to hope for a second.
So what’s the Bayern bet to get behind, then? The aforementioned Robert Lewandowski is surely the man to back for the home side, with 14 goals from his last 12 Champions League appearances at home. He’s 9/10 to score, 3/1 to find the opener.
Backing the big price payout
This is an oddly specific one – If you think Robert Lewandowski can score two goals, Sanchez can score from outside the penalty box, and Hector Bellerin will get a booking – you can back that entire outcome at 200/1 (in our specials section at the bottom of the page)…
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