Wednesday UCL Preview: Arsenal face tough Bayern Munich trip, Holders Real Madrid host Napoli

Arsenal look to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in seven years, but standing in their way are familiar opponents Bayern Munich.

The Gunners were unbeaten in the group stages as they pipped PSG to top spot in group A to advance to the knockout stages for the 14th consecutive season, but Arsene Wenger’s side haven fallen at this stage of the competition in the past six years.

Arsenal beat Basel 4-1 to take top spot in group A image: skysports.com

Arsenal beat Basel 4-1 to take top spot in group A
image: skysports.com

Bayern Munich could only manage the runners-up spot in group D behind last year’s runners-up Atletico Madrid, but the German giants will fancy themselves against the Gunners having knocked them out in the last 16 in both 2013 and 2014.

Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti is looking forward to locking horns with Arsene Wenger once again and wants his side to take control of the tie ahead of the return leg in London in three weeks.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” said the former Chelsea boss.

“Arsene Wenger is experienced, has a strong identity and his team play with great style. We need to make things uncomfortable for them on the pitch.

“You need character and luck to win the Champions League, but above all courage. We won’t focus on avoiding conceding, but we want to control possession as Arsenal have quick players and can counter well.”

Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger said it is important to focus on this game, not on past results and believes his side a prepared for a very tough game against one of the competition favourites.

“We need to forget the past meetings with Bayern and focus on now,” said the 67-year-old.

“We have experience of playing them every year, and they always have the same goal of winning the competition. We are capable, we have home advantage in the second leg, but that means nothing if we don’t play well tomorrow.

“I expect Bayern will try and dominate, as usual. They will play with a lot of possession, with a lot of speed in attack. We need a big performance against them.”

Robert Lewandowski has scored five Champions League goals this season image: bundesliga.com

Robert Lewandowski has scored five Champions League goals this season
image: bundesliga.com

Team News

Bayern Munich have midfielder Xabi Alonso available for the visit of Arsenal,after the former Liverpool man missed Monday’s training session with a knee injury.

However, Ancelotti will have to make do without defender Jerome Boateng (shoulder) and winger Frank Ribery (hamstring) who will miss the first leg through injury.

Arsene Wenger will continue with David Ospina in goal for the trip to Munich, with the Colombian featuring in each of their six group stages games ahead of Petr Cech.

Striker Lucas Perez is out of contention with a hamstring injury, while midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Santi Carzola also miss out through calf and Achilles injuries respectively.

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