Arsenal will be hoping to keep alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League when they visit Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening.

The Gunners bounced back from successive European defeats with a 2-0 victory over the German champions when they met at the Emirates last month, but a loss in Bavaria could severely damage their hopes of making it out of the group.


The daunting trip to the Allianz Arena could not have come at a better time for Arsenal, who are flying high at the summit of the Premier League table alongside joint-leaders Manchester City.

They have won each of their previous five matches in the top flight, and warmed up for their meeting with Bayern by cruising to a 3-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.

It took the Gunners until the opening minutes of the second half to make the breakthrough, but once Olivier Giroud scored they never looked back, with Laurent Koscielny and Joel Campbell adding further goals to wrap up the points.

However, Arsenal had made an indifferent start to the season, and they began their Champions League campaign with back-to-back defeats against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos.

With no points on the board as they prepared to face Bayern, few gave them a chance against the Bavarians, but they managed to grind out a 2-0 win, with substitute Giroud pouncing on a rare mistake from Manuel Neuer to give them the lead, before Mesut Ozil added a second deep into stoppage time.

Despite that crucial victory, Arsene Wenger's side are still propping up Group F, and a defeat in Germany coupled with a win for Olympiacos in their match against Dinamo Zagreb could leave them on the verge of an early exit from the tournament.

Recent form: WWWLW 

Bayern Munich

The opening months of the season have been nothing short of sensational for Bayern, and after their first 11 league games they are already five points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

Pep Guardiola's side set a new record in the German top flight by winning their opening 10 fixtures, scoring 33 goals and conceding a meagre four in the process. However, their victorious run finally came to an end last Friday, as they struggled to find a way past Eintracht Frankfurt in a goalless draw at Commerzbank-Arena.

They also enjoyed a fine start to their Champions League campaign by easing to a 3-0 win over Olympiacos, before following that up with a thumping 5-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb.

Robert Lewandowski netted a hat-trick in that triumph over the Croatian champions, and the Poland international has been in fantastic form scoring 17 goals in his 16 appearances for Bayern this season.

The striker was unable to replicate that success when his side met Arsenal two weeks ago, though, as they slipped to their first defeat of the season in 90 minutes.

Although the loss will have come as a big shock to Guardiola and his players, they are still top of the Group F table and are firmly on course to mount another successful charge for European glory.

Recent form: WLWWD 

Team News

Mario Gotze, Franck Ribery and Sebastian Rode are all ruled out through injury for Bayern, while Holger Badstuber and Juan Bernat are both doubtful.

Thomas Muller and David Alaba should return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench against Freiburg, and there could also be another start in the centre of the defence for Javi Martinez.

Their attack will be led by top-scorer Lewandowski, with Arjen Robben and the in-form Douglas Costa also expected to provide the threat for the Germans.

Arsenal could stick with the same team who beat Swansea at the weekend, meaning that Giroud, who has scored six goals in his last six games for club and country, will lead the line once again.

Costa Rica international Campbell is also expected to start for Arsenal in Germany, with first-team regulars Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey all ruled out.

The Gunners are also without Mathieu Flamini and David Ospina, while long-term absentees Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky remain sidelined. Read more at: 


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