Xhaka Starts: The Arsenal Line-Up That Can Defeat Bayern Munich In The Champions League


A huge game for Arsenal on Wednesday. The Gunners once again travel to Munich in hope of upsetting the odds and reaching the quarter-final of the Champions League – something they haven’t managed to do for far too long.

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Arsenal are an unpredictable team, but on their day, they are capable of taking on European giants like Munich. Playing the away leg away from home will be a big test for the club – the aim will be to score an away goal and still be in the tie. You get the feeling that pretty much everyone would take, say a 3-2 loss. That would mean a 2-1 home win would be enough to progress on away goals. But Wenger’s aim will be to score and not to lose, that’s the ideal scenario. So what eleven is best for such a tough fixture?

Goalkeeper: David Ospina

The Colombian stopper is set to come back into the side for the Champions League and with Cech in questionable form, it is up to him to prove his worth and prove why he should be number 1. He’s likely to face a big test in this fixture and the Gunners will certainly need him at his best if they are to progress.

Defence: Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal

The back four pretty much picks itself up until left back, where I’d actually opt for Monreal whom has more experience and would be better for this kind of game. Mustafi and Koscielny need to be at their best for Arsenal to stand any chance in this fixure. On the flanks, Bellerin and Monreal must prioritise defence. Coming up against Ribery and Robben, they will be tested to their max – they cannot afford to fail.

Midfield: Mo Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal need defensive steel in Elneny, but they also need someone like Xhaka to not only add more defensive ability, but to give the team a platform to build attacks. Coquelin is a very poor distributor of the ball, and I think Arsenal need good players on the ball to stand any chance. Xhaka is brilliant at that, Elneny is also decent and can bring a lot of energy alongside Granit. Elneny’s best performance in an Arsenal shirt was probably against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. He’s just played in an ACON final too, he is capable of playing well in this game. Dubbed the new Xabi Alonso, Xhaka will have to be exactly that if Arsenal are to stand a chance against Bayern Munich in midfield. He will be the freshest person in the Arsenal squad after missing 4 domestic games due to a ban. He simply has to start this game. Chamberlain has impressed recently but he’s played a lot of football and I feel he would leave us too exposed in a game like this in a 2, so I’d play 3 in the middle.

Attack: Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck

I think Arsenal need to go with Alexis up top, to play on the counter-attack and also put pressure on Bayern Munich from the front. This will enable the team to win the ball back high up the pitch. Alexis can drop deep and attempt to disrupt Bayern from the start of their build-up play. With Welbeck and Lucas out wide, Arsenal would have the perfect platform for a counter attack if Alexis wins the ball back in the middle.

I’d like to see Ozil’ and Welbeck on the wings. Both would set us up to be very dangerous on the counter attack, but both have a lot of energy to ensure they can track back well. I can see Walcott and Iwobi being selected by Arsene, though. Ozil cannot afford to have a free role in this game, but he can be very influential from the right. Arsenal desperately need him to turn up and put in a defensive shift, as well as linking the midfield together.