Five talkings points ahead of Bayern Munich V Arsenal

By dsguser
14 February 2017

Arsenal travel to face Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday night looking to put themselves in a position to reach the last eight of the Champions League.

With patchy domestic form leading to pressure mounting on Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal boss will be hoping for a positive display in Germany and here, we look at five of the major talking points ahead of the clash.

Can Arsenal be among the European gr-eights again?

The Gunners have crashed out of the Champions League at the round of 16 stage for the last six seasons and face another uphill battle to reach the quarter-finals this time around.

Wenger has admitted to feeling "guilty" in recent years when, having progressed into the knockout stages as group runners-up, they have come up against some of the biggest names in the competition.

This time Arsenal managed to secure top-spot in their group but still ended up being drawn against the five-time winners, who beat them at this stage in both 2013 and 2014.

Although a second leg at the Emirates Stadium follows in three weeks' time, a positive result in Munich tomorrow will go a long way to getting into the last eight.

Petr to Cech out as Ospina returns?

At the start of the season, David Ospina was Wenger's nominated first-choice goalkeeper for the Champions League.

The Colombia international has had to play second fiddle to Petr Cech since he arrived from Chelsea in the summer of 2015 but Wenger looks set to stick with the 28-year-old for the Allianz Arena clash.

While Wenger rates both of his goalkeepers highly, it will be seen by many as a gamble if he does opt to bench Cech in favour of Ospina, who started all six group games but has yet to feature in the Premier League this campaign.

Are the Bayern more beatable than before?

Despite reported unrest in the Munich dressing room amid poor performances, Carlo Ancelotti's side remain top of the Bundesliga.

They have also won their last 15 Champions League home games and, although some of their big-name players may not be hitting the heights, Robert Lewandowski has scored 14 goals in his last 12 outings.

That kind of reading will be less than ideal for Arsenal, who have lost two of their last three and were hammered 5-1 at the Allianz in last season's group stages.

Will Wenger wield axe on Ozil?

After another peripheral performance during Arsenal's 2-0 win over Hull on Saturday, Mesut Ozil's confidence came in for questioning by Wenger.

The German World Cup winner, and reported summer target for Bayern, has not scored since December 10 and has drifted in and out of games lately.

No-one can question the talent of Arsenal's club-record signing but his effectiveness when things are not going Arsenal's way is something that will be worrying to fans - and if the visitors find themselves on the back-foot in Munich, Ozil could once again fade into the background.

Can Wenger solve his midfield conundrum?

Arsenal have been struggling in the middle of the park during recent games, with players injured or unavailable leading to Wenger having to shuffle his pack.

Francis Coquelin has been partnered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the last two matches but, despite the England international looking comfortable there, it would be a bold move to stick with him against the might of Munich.

But Wenger is limited on options, he could draft Mohamed Elneny in after the Egypt international came off the bench against Hull following his return from the African Nations Cup, or turn to Granit Xhaka, who has been banned for the last four domestic matches.

Either way he has a decision to make, with Xhaka and Coquelin no doubt offering the grittiest combination, although Elneny did play and score in defeat at Barcelona at this stage last season.

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