Arsenal aim to complete part two of what would be an incredible Champions League revival at Bayern Munich’s expense when they travel to the Allianz Arena for group-stage match-day four.
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The Gunners looked dead and buried in terms of their qualification hopes after back-to-back defeats against Dinamo Zagreb (away) and Olympiakos (home) left them stranded on zero points at the bottom of the Group F table.
But now they are right back in contention after pulling off a 2-0 triumph at home to Bayern who, apart from losing the German Super Cup, had a 100% record this season across every other match they had played.
With Olympiakos winning in Zagreb and red-hot favourites to do likewise in the home leg of that ‘double header’, it means the pressure is still very much on Arsenal to carve out a positive result on their trip to Germany – and especially because they still have to go to Greece themselves.
However, there is a precedent because Arsene Wenger’s side looked to have an impossible task in the last 16 of this competition in 2013, trailing 3-1 from the first game as they went to Munich, and a 2-0 success there meant they were only eliminated on away goals.
Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller (left) vies for the ball with Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil during the UEFA Champions League match on October 20 2015 (Getty Images)
They also had a two-goal deficit to try and overcome 12 months later after being beaten 2-0 at the Emirates and while that time they could only draw 1-1, it was another result that will offer encouragement for Wednesday.
Having shown themselves to be on a par at least with the best teams in England recently, Arsenal should not have too much of an inferiority complex when they take on Bayern and the goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil that sealed their victory two weeks ago proved that.
Of more concern will be the injuries that have started to mount up and the loss of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain until after the next international break, both being injured in the Capital One Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday, is a significant double blow.
Bayern’s loss in north London showed they cannot afford to be complacent where their own qualification prospects are concerned, but we think there is the distinct possibility that Olympiakos could be topping this pool heading into match day five if Arsenal can again take points off the joint favourites to lift the trophy.
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