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Arsenal, Bayern Munich

According to the bookies Bayern Munich beating Arsenal Wednesday night is a done deal with them predicting that the European champions will come to London just as they did last year and steam roll over Arsenal and then party at the Allianz Arena during the second-leg of the affair.

They could very well have got it all wrong with a determined Arsenal side not ready to repeat the errors they made last season and three good reasons why Guardiola’s men could come unstuck.

There is no denying that Bayern has a fantastic defensive record in the Bundesliga having now not conceding a single goal in 609 minutes of play, but this confidence could be their Achilles heel when up against a master tactician like Arsene Wenger who will have found a flaw somewhere in their ranks.

 

1. Guardiola has a tendency to always play Philipp Lahm in a more defensive central midfield role which means he relies on Rafinha at right-back a player rival Bundesliga team Bayer Leverkusen exploited during a 1-1 draw earlier in the season while concentrating their attack down the left flank.

2. Franck Ribery is out injured with no real replacement of his calibre there to replace him now that Xherdan Shaqiri is also out injured. The Germans will miss Ribery as he is the workhorse of the team yet not having him play gives Wenger one less thing to worry about.

3. Guardiola has tried this season to use Javi Martinez in the centre-back position at the expense of Jerome Boateng, you the flaw here is that Martinez is often caught out of position as he forgets his role and reverts to his natural midfield position taking the ball up the pitch. He is also not yet the tackler you would want in the centre of defence giving Wenger yet another area to concentrate his attack this of course depends on his line-up as he could also go back to the reliable Boateng Dante partnership.

 

Guardiola is trying to get the Germans to play the possession style football he enjoyed at Barcelona and if Wenger will have learned anything he will have seen how this type of play cost Manchester City last night as they tried to play like the Catalans.

Arsenal if they want to win must not allow the Germans to have too much of the ball and start the game at a fast pace as they did against Liverpool at the weekend.

 

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