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Champions League | Quarter-Finals | 2nd Leg
Apr 17, 2024 at 8pm UK
Allianz Arena
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Thomas Tuchel confirms double Bayern Munich injury blow for Arsenal clash

Tuchel confirms double Bayern injury blow for Arsenal clash
© Reuters
Thomas Tuchel confirms that Bayern Munich will be without two key attackers for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Arsenal.

Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed that the German giants must make do without two key attackers for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Arsenal on Wednesday night.

The Bavarian powerhouses return to continental duty on the back of officially losing their grip on the Bundesliga title, despite a routine 2-0 win over Koln at the weekend.

Bayern's triumph paled into insignificance owing to Bayer Leverkusen's 5-0 crushing of Werder Bremen, which saw Die Werkself crowned top-flight champions for the first time in their history and denied the former holders a 12th successive title.

With only the Champions League left to fight for between now and the end of the season, Bayern seek a repeat of their last two home fixtures with Arsenal in 2015 and 2017, which saw Wednesday's hosts run out 5-1 winners.

Tuchel's men were on course for a 2-1 first-leg success at the Emirates last week as Serge Gnabry and Harry Kane cancelled out Bukayo Saka's strike, but Leandro Trossard was the second-half saviour for Arsenal with a 76th-minute equaliser.

Bayern Munich's Serge Gnabry walks off the pitch after sustaining an injury on April 9, 2024© Reuters

Gnabry, Kingsley Coman ruled out of Arsenal showdown

Six minutes before Trossard got Arsenal back on terms, former Gunners academy graduate Gnabry was forced to leave the field with a hamstring strain, which rendered him unavailable for the weekend's clash with Koln.

Instead, Kingsley Coman started on the right flank at the Allianz Arena, but the Frenchman's race was run just five minutes into the second half with an adductor injury, as Jamal Musiala replaced him.

After a statement on Bayern's website revealed that Coman would be out for several weeks, Tuchel confirmed in his pre-game press conference that neither he nor Gnabry would be fit to play any part in Wednesday's second leg.

In brighter news, first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is fine to take part after missing the Koln win as a precaution, while Leroy Sane should be given the green light to feature, although he will have to grin and bear it.

"Manu can play and Leroy can play if he bites his teeth. Serge and Kingsley are unavailable so Leroy has to bite his teeth," Tuchel told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

Bayern also missing integral defender for second leg

Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies celebrates after the match on January 27, 2024© Reuters

While Sane will seemingly be a straight swap for Coman on the right-hand side, either Thomas Muller or Mathys Tel should be forced to fill in for Gnabry, unless Tuchel springs a surprise by selecting Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Bayern's selection concerns are not limited to the final third for the second leg, as Tuchel must also work around the suspension of left-back Alphonso Davies for the visit of the Gunners.

The Canada left-back was already on two yellow cards in the Champions League before the stopover at the Emirates, where with just nine minutes on the clock, he entered the referee's book for going through the back of Saka.

With Davies banned, Raphael Guerreiro is the most likely candidate to fill in at left-back on Wednesday, although Noussair Mazraoui - a right-back by trade - occupied that role against Koln as Guerreiro strutted his stuff in midfield.

As Bayern lament the absence of two crucial attackers, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been handed a major double fitness boost ahead of the return fixture, where the Gunners will endeavour to knock Bayern out of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

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Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Martin Odegaard on February 11, 2024
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