The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Arsenal’s starting XI for the game against Bayern Munich (match preview and team news)

Tuesday February 19th: Champions League, Bayern Munich (h -1st leg)

Afternoon, intrepid readers.

Matches don’t come much bigger than today. Maelstroms of bitterness and discontent can be put aside, petty bickering and waring factions can temporarily relent; Bayern Munich are in town.¬†Having blundered so spectacularly on Saturday, tonight is the perfect stage to show the world the real Arsenal.

Adversity can often become our greatest ally. The players and manager will know full well how daunting and formidable our opponents are. The chips are down at present, positivity is something of a forgotten mindset. Unification often comes from the darkest of hours, and I’ve got faith in us seeing a real response from the players, and a vociferous, inspiring one from the home support. Losing with such shame to Blackburn might just be the tonic for a win tonight.

On the team news front, Vermaelen and Jenkinson will return to the squad, but Laurent Koscielny again faces a late fitness test. With Gibbs injured, Monreal ineligible and Santos sunning his considerable frame in Brazil, the left-back position is the main area of concern. I expect Arsene to deploy Vermaelen there, and use Sagna in the centre with Mertesacker and Jenkinson at right back if Koscielny doesn’t come through his test.

My guess at how we will start – assuming Koscielny plays – would be:

Of course, that may not necessarily be the case. The Boss may chose to play either Ramsey or Diaby in one of the wide positions enabling them to drop in and support the midfield. Bayern have some monsters with the likes of Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, and we will need to compete physically as well as technically.

There’s a great deal of pressure on this game. After Arsene’s uncharacteristic outburst toward the media yesterday, it would appear that even the usually calm and gregarious Mr Wenger is feeling the walls close in on him. Few of us fans realistically expect triumph in this competition, but to exit with a whimper and not a fight will only and further fuel to the growing fire of discontent surrounding our manager.

Fixtures like this one can make or break a season. A stirring performance and a win could become the catalyst for better things to come. A resounding defeat might send an already disappointing season spiralling into greater realms of shit. Often we approach matches wondering which version of our beloved Arsenal will turn up – the team capable of great attacking fluency, or the version unable to muster a decent shot on goal against infinitely beatable opponents.

We can ill afford anything but the real Arsenal turning up tonight.

If you’re confident about the game, if you have a sneaky feeling for a victory, why not put some of your well-earned cash on the line? Bet Victor offers newly registered members the gift of a free ¬£25 bet. You can register here.

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich odds.

That’s all for today, folks. I hope you’re all prepared for the game. Wether you’re attending or watching amidst the jostling jocundity of a local bar, let’s all stick together on this one. There’s a time for protests and a time for support. Tonight is certainly the latter.

Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. I shall return tomorrow hopefully able to effusively ramble about a scintillating performance.

Category: Match previews
  • the mighty karim says:

    let’s shut their mouths tonight !

    February 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm
  • Ben says:

    we real show love 4 our team (arsenal), but we always came into disappointment with the deafening hopeless silence of our lovely manager Wenger.for not taking into deep consideration to our long_term aching malady.. VIVA ARSENAL

    February 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm
  • olayinka says:

    Though d confidence level might be low,bt if d real Arsenal is playing,then we can get something out of this game…#keep d faith

    February 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm
  • koulest says:

    I strongly believe that Arsenal are going to shut down the Bayern team.

    February 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm
  • dom says:

    I hear that Cazorla may be deployed on the left with possibly Diaby or Ramsey operating alongside Arteta with Wilshire in the advanced central midfielder role. Podoslki playing in the centre would take advantage of the fact that Van Buyten is not the quickest of defenders. Walcott will take advantage of Alaba’s surging runs forward meaning it will be him up against Dante again which is good because Walcott caused a lot of problems for the Brazilian when on duty for England.

    The players will be coming out to prove to the gaffer that they deserve to play for this club. They will know in the back of their minds that we will be looking to bring in new faces this summer and they will be fighting so that the potential signings will not be their replacements.

    February 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm
  • Bulus says:

    Gunners PLS let’s keep the faith

    February 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm
  • Deusdedit says:

    I dont care, there is no team that plays like arsenal

    February 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm
  • akeni joseph says:

    Wenger,d players, nd d management has fail us.

    February 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm
  • Zaidovski says:

    As long as flops like Ramsey are wearing an arsenal shirt then this team doesn’t deserve a trophy!
    Aw the twat always buys flops English/welsh youth to please fans and FA at the cost of making a real team.
    Finally worldwide he is being humiliated and made a clown.

    Let the world see how rubbish Ramsey is and why AW has lost it.

    February 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

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