Arsenal would have hoped to have at least four points from their opening two games away to Dinamo Zagreb and at home to Olympiakos before heading in to back-to-back games against Guardiola’s Bayern, but as it is they’ll have to qualify the hard way and will surely need at least one win or a pair of draws from these next two games in order to do so. They’re rated an 11/4 chance to make it through and since Bayern have won all 11 of their matches this season it’s easy to see why.
Arsenal have only won six of their 13 Champions League home games since 2012/13, keeping just four clean sheets in those matches and four of their five home games since the start of last season saw at least four goals. We have Bayern currently ranked as the third best team in Europe and Arsenal’s Champions League record when hosting Europe’s top-five since 2008/09 according to our rankings is W2-D1-L4. One of those wins came against Dortmund early on last season at the start of their spectacular decline while the other was a famous 2-1 win from behind against Barca in 2010/11. However, the Gunners did manage to score in six of these seven matches and five had more than two goals.
Bayern look to be boosted by the signings of Douglas Costa and Vidal this season with the continued absences of Robben and Ribery not posing the same problem it did last term, thanks also in part to the return to fitness of Thiago Alcantara and Lewandowski’s excellent form. Since the start of last season, Bayern’s away Champions League record is a slightly patchy W3-D1-L3, with defeats against Porto and Man City amongst those and the 3-0 result against Olympiakos in their opening away game of this campaign flattered them slightly as two of those goals came in the last two minutes. We have Arsenal ranked as the 11th best side in Europe and Bayern’s away record against teams ranked between 6th and 16th in the Champions League since 2012/13 is W3-D2-L2 with those defeats against Porto and City last season and wins over Roma, Man City, and Arsenal themselves in 2013/14. Both teams scored in six of these seven matches, with the last three all seeing at least four goals.
In that meeting at the Emirates in 2013/14 Arsenal dominated the early stages in a game that looked to be full of goals, but missed a penalty and had Szczesny sent off in the first half, allowing Bayern to cruise to a 2-0 win. Bayern’s last seven Champions League games have had Over 2.5 goals (5 had Over 3.5), while four of Arsenal’s last five Champions League home games since last season had Over 3.5 goals and since five of Arsenal’s last seven home games against Europe’s top-five had Over 2.5 goals and Bayern’s last three trips to sides ranked similar to Arsenal in Europe all had Over 3.5 goals, we can expect goals in this game and backing there to be at least four strikes looks the best play.
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