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Arsenal logo
Champions League | Quarter-Finals | 1st Leg
Apr 9, 2024 at 8pm UK
Emirates Stadium
Bayern logo

Arsenal
2 - 2
Bayern

Saka (12'), Trossard (76')
Partey (89')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Gnabry (18'), Kane (32' pen.)
Davies (9'), Kane (55')

Preview: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Familiar Champions League foes reunite in front of a bouncing Emirates atmosphere on Tuesday evening, as Arsenal and Bayern Munich go toe-to-toe in the first leg of their quarter-final.

The Gunners edged out Porto on penalties to banish their knockout demons from seasons past, while Thomas Tuchel's men - who will have none of their fans present in North London owing to a firework misdemeanour - progressed this far courtesy of a second-leg turnaround against Lazio.


Match preview

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and David Raya celebrate after the match on March 13, 2024© Reuters

The last-16 monkey on Arsenal's back had plagued the North London giants since their most recent progression to the last eight of Europe's top tournament in 2009-10, where the Arsene Wenger-led crop recovered from a first-leg deficit against Porto with a dominant 5-0 Emirates triumph.

Fourteen years later, the manner of Arsenal's fightback against the Portuguese powerhouses was not so emphatic, but thanks to a pair of David Raya saves from the spot while Mikel Arteta's outfielders remained perfect from 12 yards, the Gunners emulated their 09-10 selves and finally banished their last-16 hoodoo.

The beaten 2006 finalists now have more European demons to banish on Tuesday night - not least their recent series of humiliating Bayern batterings - as two of their last three quarter-final appearances in the Champions League have ended in elimination, the outlier being victory over Villarreal in 2008-09.

However, the Emirates vibe is arguably at its zenith since Arsenal left their Highbury home, as a stellar 3-0 Premier League win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday - their 10th win from 11 top-flight games and fourth clean sheet in a row in all tournaments - took them back to the top of the table amid the engrossing three-way fight for glory.

While equalling a club record of keeping five consecutive away clean sheets in the Premier League, Arsenal now return to their feared home on the back of six straight wins at the Emirates in all competitions, and they have won all four of their Champions League clashes on familiar territory this season without shipping a single goal.

Bayern Munich's Harry Kane, Joshua Kimmich and teammates look dejected after the match on April 6, 2024© Reuters

Of course, Bayern possess a feared marksman with all the know-how of scoring at the Emirates Stadium in Harry Kane, who after years of Tottenham Hotspur torment finally ended his North London association in a bid to rid the silverware monkey off his back.

The England captain and another erstwhile Arsenal academy product in Serge Gnabry put Bayern 2-0 up in the weekend's Bundesliga showdown with Heidenheim, but owing to a catastrophic second-half collapse, the faltering champions all but conceded the crown to Bayer Leverkusen in an excruciating 3-2 loss.

Sixteen points adrift of Xabi Alonso's unbeaten men with six games remaining, Bayern will lose their loose grip on the German top-flight title should Leverkusen win just one of their last sextet of matches, so barring a footballing miracle, the Champions League will be Tuchel's only saving grace before he calls time on his ill-fated spell this summer.

Like their upcoming hosts, Bayern also had to do it the hard way in the last 16, fighting back from a 1-0 loss to Lazio with a 3-0 second-leg success to make the quarter-finals for the fifth season running, but European demons have been haunting Tuesday's visitors in recent times too, as they have been knocked out at this stage three years running.

Keeping just one clean sheet in their last 12 games in all competitions also serves to diminish Bayern confidence before they renew acquaintances with Arsenal, whom they have crushed 5-1 in each of their last three meetings, but given the respective trajectories of the two heavyweights domestically, Gooners have every right to believe that revenge is imminent.

Arsenal Champions League form:


Arsenal form (all competitions):


Bayern Munich Champions League form:


Bayern Munich form (all competitions):


Team News

Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer during the match on October 28, 2023© Reuters

Despite admitting that he was "struggling" towards the end of Arsenal's triumph over Brighton at the weekend, Bukayo Saka - who lasted just over an hour at the Amex - played down concerns of a debilitating issue and is expected to line up from the off on Tuesday, music to the ears of the Emirates army.

As a result, only ACL victim Jurrien Timber - still on track for a return before the season draws to a close - should sit this one out for Arsenal, although Declan Rice and Kai Havertz will be treading a tightrope on Tuesday; one more booking and the pair will miss the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

Yellow-card hypotheticals should not cross Arteta's mind, though - especially given the importance of his two big-money summer arrivals - but a couple of alterations on the left could see Gabriel Martinelli and Takehiro Tomiyasu reinstated to the XI for Arsenal's biggest match of the post-Wenger era yet.

While Rice and Havertz are at risk of an impending ban, Bayern can once again call upon Dayot Upamecano, who was forced to miss his side's second-leg beating of Lazio after seeing red in the Bavarians' 1-0 defeat away from home.

The visitors' treatment room was full to the brim before the weekend, as all of Manuel Neuer (groin), Kingsley Coman (thigh), Leroy Sane (groin), Noussair Mazraoui (illness) and Aleksandar Pavlovic (illness) sat out the loss to Heidenheim, but in a quintuple injury boost, all five have made the cut.

However, Gabriel Marusic (ACL), Tarek Buchmann (hamstring), Bouna Sarr (ACL), Sacha Boey (hip) and Noel Aseko (ankle) are missing for the visitors, who at least have Kane fit and firing as the former Tottenham talisman bids to add to his 14 goals from 19 previous showdowns with Arsenal, whom he briefly represented as a schoolboy.


Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Kimmich, Upamecano, Kim, Davies; Goretzka, Laimer; Sane, Musiala, Gnabry; Kane


SM words green background

We say: Arsenal 2-1 Bayern Munich

With their soft underbelly now replaced by sturdy armour, Arsenal fans should not be subjected to another 5-1 humiliation at the hands of the German champions, especially given the current predicament Tuchel's side find themselves in.

Kane versus Arsenal almost always leads to the Gunners failing to keep a clean sheet, which may be the case if the quarter-final pressure briefly gets to Arteta's men, but the clinical hosts should capitalise on the Bavarians' rearguard vulnerabilities and lack of away support to take a narrow lead to Munich.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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Game History

How you voted: Arsenal vs Bayern

Arsenal
67.7%
Draw
14.2%
Bayern Munich
18.1%
647
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Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer during the match on October 28, 2023
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