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Champions League preview: Arsenal vs Bayern Munich, Real Madrid vs Man City

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Champions League preview: Arsenal vs Bayern Munich, Real Madrid vs Man City

Champions League preview: Arsenal vs Bayern Munich, Real Madrid vs Man City

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

During the Wenger years, Arsenal repeatedly met Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with the north London club often struggling to assert themselves.

In the three most recent meetings between these teams, Bayern won each match 5-1.

For Tuesday’s first leg quarter-final, has payback time finally rolled around? The Gunners cruised to the top of the Premier League this weekend – where they remain, thanks to Liverpool’s inability to beat Man United on Sunday.

Arteta’s side have been awesome in the Prem so far in 2024, dropping just two points (away against Man City) in 11 games. In this Champions League encounter, they face an old enemy that seems to have misplaced their mojo.

Bayern remain second in the Bundesliga table. But the gap between the Bavarian club and leaders Bayer Leverkusen is 16 points.

Harry Kane has scored 32 league goals for the German giants this season – that’s good. Yet in 2024 alone, Bayern have lost five league games. Including their last two outings, against Dortmund and tenth-placed Heidenheim this weekend.

Arsenal look well placed to settle a few scores in the Champions League, then – as the Gunners look to get one over on a former Spurs golden boy, too. What could possibly go wrong?

For what it’s worth, Arsenal have been a touch less reliable in the Champions League. They lost away to Lens unexpectedly in the group stage, and lost away to Porto in the round of 16, before winning the home fixture on penalties.

Bayern had a slight wobble against Lazio in the round of 16 too, before winning the return leg 3-0. So maybe there’s nothing much to be read into either side’s recent CL lapses.

Desperately seeking out reasons to keep believing in Bayern – well, they have pretty much nothing else to play for this season, Kane remains a potent threat, and despite Bayern’s odd collapses they did beat Mainz 8-1 in the Bundesliga less than a month ago.

Bayern aren’t the complete basket case they’re presented as, but they’re struggling. Meanwhile, the Gunners haven’t even conceded a goal in their last four games in all competitions. And in the Champions League, they’ve won all their home games this season, again without conceding a goal.

Back Arsenal to win at 8/11.

Real Madrid vs Man City

Manchester City have won each of their eight Champions League matches so far in this campaign. Can Real Madrid stop the reigning champions at the Bernabeu in this first leg quarter-final encounter?

This will be Ancelotti’s 200th Champions League match as a manager; the Italian is the first coach to reach that milestone in the competition.

Despite his experience, Real made slightly heavy going of it with a 1-1 draw against RB Leipzig in the previous round. But the Madrid side have won all their other CL games this season, and have lost just once in La Liga in this campaign.

The club’s standing in the Champions League is second to none – Real have won the competition 14 times, more than any other club. Five of those triumphs have come since 2014, too.

At home, in a tie the hosts surely have to win, Real may be able to overcome City. Either way, it seems likely there will be goals. Three of the last four meetings between these two sides have each produced at least four goals; backing over 3.5 goals here is a 7/4 shot that could well come off.

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