After beating Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League at the Emirates a fortnight ago, Arsenal know they must now, realistically, get at least a draw in the corresponding fixture in Germany on Wednesday night if they are to keep alive their chances of advancing to the last-16.
Arsene Wenger’s side lost their opening two group matches against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos to leave their campaign on the brink, but the success in North London last time out has given them renewed hope.
They currently sit third on three points in Group F, three behind Bayern and the Greek outfit, who will be confident of getting a result when they host the Croatian club on matchday four.
Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil scored in the final 13 minutes on that night, and the Gunners have been in fine form since in the Premier League, going joint-top of the standings with Manchester City following wins against Everton and Swansea respectively.
However, centre-back Per Mertesacker has warned his team-mates that their opponents will have been “wounded” by the loss two weeks ago – their only competitive defeat over 90 minutes this season.
Pep Guardiola’s team have gone unbeaten since then, but the German champions did drop their first points of the Bundesliga campaign following a 0-0 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday night.
Arsenal can take confidence from the fact that they are unbeaten on their last two visits to the Allianz Arena, a 1-1 draw last season and a 2-0 victory the year before.
But Bayern are known for being formidable on their own patch, and they have won seven out of seven this term, scoring 29 goals in the process.
Wenger lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to injury in the Capital One Cup against Sheffield Wednesday last week and they miss the trip to Germany, while Hector Bellerin is also out, meaning Mathieu Debuchy will get a rare start at right-back.
The Frenchman, who has been a bit-part player for the Gunners so far this term, could face a difficult night as he comes up against Bayern’s in-form winger, Douglas Costa, with the speedy Brazilian impressing since his summer move from Shakhtar Donetsk.
Joel Campbell netted on his first start in the top-flight at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday and is pushing for a start, but the Costa Rican forward is likely to be named among the substitutes.
Meanwhile, the hosts will be without winger Franck Ribery, Mario Gotze is also still absent with a groin injury, but defender Medhi Benatia may make his comeback after recovering from a thigh problem.
Group Position: Bayern Munich – 1st (6 points); Arsenal – 3rd (3 points)
Last Meeting: Arsenal 2-0 Bayern Munich (October 20, 2015)
Key Men: Bayern Munich – Douglas Costa; Arsenal – Mesut Ozil
Form: Bayern Munich – WWLWWD; Arsenal – WWWWLW
Shoot Says: Bayern Munich 2-1 Arsenal