Arsenal host Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions league for the second leg of their round of 16 tie later tonight
The Gunners face a seemingly impossible task as they look to overcome a 5-1 deficit from the first leg and will be looking to regain some of their pride after being humiliated at the Allianz Stadium last time around.
Laurent Koscielny’s withdrawal at half time led to a shocking collapse from Arsene Wenger’s side and they will have to ensure that they do not repeat such a poor performance if they want to come out of the tie with any credit.
Speaking ahead of the match, Arsene Wenger confirmed in the pre-match conference that Mesut Ozil would miss out on the fixture after failing to regain fitness following an illness, while hinting that he would start with mostly the same side as the one against Liverpool.
“He [Ozil] is not in the squad, he only had one session yesterday and he was sick – he was out the whole of last week and I don’t think he is ready physically to be in the squad. He should be okay for the weekend. I think it will be a similar squad to the one that was at Liverpool on Saturday,”
It remains to be seen whether Alexis Sanchez will be recalled to the starting lineup after Wenger decided to drop him to the bench against Liverpool amid reports of a training ground bust-up that saw Sanchez leave the session early. But, it seems very unlikely that Wenger will leave his best player on the bench in a match like this.
Aaron Ramsey also returned to the bench against Liverpool but probably will not start given his lengthy absence. Mohamed Elneny and Santi Cazorla are also out injured, meaning Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka will likely feature alongside each other in midfield.
Bayern Munich’s only definite absentee will be captain Philipp Lahm, who picked up a booking in the first leg and is suspended as a result. This means that Rafinha will take his place in the side for this fixture.
Carlo Ancelotti rested Mats Hummels, Xabi Alonso, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery during Bayern’s 3-0 victory over Cologne over the weekend and is likely to recall the quartet to the starting XI for the match as Bayern look to complete the job.