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Arsenal Vs Bayern Munich – Key Battles

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Arsenal Vs Bayern Munich – With each passing second, time takes us closer to the much awaited mouth-watering encounter of Arsenal facing Bayern Munich in the knockout stages of the Champions League for a place in the quarter finals of Europe’s elite club competition. As it seems, it will be prove to be a no holds barred match up, a clash which should go down to the wire and, which the fans and fanatics all over the world have been anticipating eagerly for the last three weeks.

A Wenger against Guardiola encounter will be fascinating to watch as the two brilliant managers raise the stakes and go one on one against each other. Will the Bavarians decimate Arsenal’s artillery or will Wenger’s Gunners gun Guardiola’s goons? We here at Soccersouls provide our readers three things which will ultimately decide the first leg at the Emirates.

Guardiola’s micro tactics and deployment of Javi Martinez:

Guardiola like former Bayern legendary manager Louis Van Gaal is perhaps one of the most proactive managers you can ever see in world football currently.

As Guardian’s , explains, The former Barcelona manager’s philosophy is based on dominating possession, creating a constant numerical advantage in midfield and aggressive pressing.

While Phillip Lahm has been regularly playing in midfield, Pep is not afraid to switch players in the middle of park to overload the opposition’s midfield and create an advantage. The central player to this cause is Javi Martinez, the team’s ball-winner. The Spaniard has played in a variety of positions in defensive midfield, playing deep behind the main striker as an outlet and in central defence too. The Bavarians will look at Martinez’s position throughout the entire course of ninety minutes if they are to be on the right end of the score line on Wednesday night.

Arsenal’s catalyst will be Oxlade Chamberlain:

The Gunners gained revenge on Sunday against Liverpool after beating the Reds by 2-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup, the same opponents who had hurled them the ignominy of disdain two weeks ago by a 5-1 scoreline. The reason behind Arsenal’s resurgence- Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. The twenty year old had a sublime match, scoring the opening goal and then setting up Arsenal’s second of the night by blitzing his way past the Liverpool central defence as if they weren’t there.

On Wednesday too, Wenger should look to field Chamberlain on the flanks using him interchangeably, putting pressure on Bayern’s weakest link, full back Rafinha. Chamberlain can also exploit the space left behind by left wing back David Alaba, the fast, technically proficient and phenomenal Austrian who loves to predominantly play in midfield rather than in his allotted defensive slot. The English International has been directly or indirectly involved in all of Arsenal’s last 5 goals.

Tactical setup for both team as its Wenger against Guardiola:


While Arsene Wenger rarely ventures on tactics, instead loving his free flowing and sweeping football, Pep Guardiola is one of the most astute tacticians in the world. It will be interesting to see how Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 copes up against Bayern ‘s flexible and always interchanging 4-3-3, I for one feel it will one of those high octane clashes whose outcome will be decided by the desire, on which team wants to win the match, suffering more and more badly.