19/02/13 – Arsenal vs Bayern Munich (Champions League Last 16)

Arsenal vs Bayern MunichThe two teams come into this game with vastly differing fortunes. Arsenal’s defeat in the FA Cup to Championship side Blackburn leaves the Champions league as their only viable option of silverware, while Bayern have a fifteen point lead at the top of the Bundesliga have a 100% competitive record in 2013 with a goal difference of 13-0.

Arsene Wenger has rarely ventured too far from his favoured 4-2-3-1/4-2-1-3 formation, and has the opportunity to select his first choice front six following the return of Mikel Arteta from injury. Wenger has the option of moving Jack Wilshere into the advanced midfield position in place of Santi Cazorla to offer more solidity, but given that Arsenal are at home it is more likely the Spaniard will continue as the central playmaker. With Kieran Gibbs injured and Nacho Monreal cup-tied Thomas Vermaelen is likely to play at left full back. Jupp Heynckes also has few selection problems, and can pick his first choice XI. With Bayern Munich flying in the Bundesliga Heynckes can select his usual 4-2-1-3, with Toni Kroos’ positioning in central midfield determining the away side’s ambition.

The tactical match-up is likely to centre on the respective midfield triangles and the positioning of the wide forwards… (Read more)

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