Pick Your Poison: Bayern Munich’s 5 Biggest Threats to Arsenal

By on October 20, 2015 - 513 views

Arsenal head into this evening’s UEFA Champions League encounter with Bayern Munich knowing a defeat will very likely end their participatin in this season’s tournament.

The Gunners have lost to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos already and now face the well-oiled German machine that have blitzed to six points from their first two matches and are already running away with the Bundesliga.

Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich are among the three favourites to win this season’s competition, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid. Yet Arsenal must avoid defeat in at least one of these games to have a prayer of reaching the last 16.

If they are to do so, here are five players they need to keep quiet:

Robert Lewandowski

Arsène Wenger has his three centre-backs available this evening after confirming yesterday that Gabriel Paulista is in contention. But which partnership will be he use in order to keep Robert Lewandowski quiet?

The Polish striker has already scored three goals in their opening two Champions League matches and a staggering 12 goals in his eight Bundesliga matches to start the season. On top of that, Lewandowski recently tied David Healy’s record for most goals in qualifying for a European Championship with 13. How do you stop the in-form man?

Laurent Koscielny can be excellent at man-to-man marking but the French international playing left centre-back will likely have to deal with Thomas Müller cutting in from the right-wing. That would leave either Per Mertesacker or Gabriel Paulista to sit on the striker for 90 minutes.

Douglas Costa

What a signing Pep Guardiola has made down the left wing. Whilst Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben have been out injured, Douglas Costa has been ripping right-backs apart down the left for Bayern Munich.

The Brazilian forward has already created seven chances in two matches, setting up one goal and scoring one himself as he has been on the winning side on both occasions. Domestically, Costa has a further five assists in eight Bundesliga matches. To think he was linked to a few Premier League clubs just over 12 months ago.

Héctor Bellerín is in for a very long night in defence. Douglas Costa has been terrorising full-backs this season; both taking them on and whipping in excellent balls from that wing. He both creates chances and loves to have a few shots himself each game.

Thomas Müller

Don’t be distracted by the number of goals Robert Lewandowski has this season, Thomas Müller is just as much of a threat. The right forward himself has nine in the Bundesliga and a further two in the Champions League.

An intelligent player who always seems to find space inside the penalty area when he drifts infield – Nacho Monreal and co cannot afford a dip in concentration otherwise the name Müller will be on the scoresheet.

Thomas Müller forms an excellent partnership with Philipp lahm bombing on from right-back to keep Monreal on his toes this evening.

Thiago Alcântara

A few seasons ago Asenal were linked with a move for Barcelona’s Thiago Alcântara. This evening they will get to experience first-hand how talented the young Spanish international is.

The 24-year-old is in his third year with the German champions but injuries limited his first two. Now experiencing a purple patch in terms of fitness, Thiago has made an excellent impact at the start of the season and one that Arsenal players and fans should fear at the Emirates this evening.

Thiago creates numerous chances when he pushes forward from his central midfield position. He’s an excellent passer and playmaker in the middle, also capable of scoring goals from outside the box. Francis Coquelin may be called upon to deal with Thiago around the Arsenal box but a more attacking player should be asked to sit on him too.

David Alaba

If Douglas Costa wasn’t enough for Héctor Bellerín to deal with, the young Spaniard and Aaron Ramsey will also have David Alaba to deal with, bombing on from left-back.

The Austrian international started out as a left winger, a position he plays for the national team (as well as the central attacking midfield at times too). He loves getting forward and does put in a couple of crosses and passes into the box each game, as well as the occasional shot.

If Bayern Munich are to dominate possession and territory then you can expect the left-back to spend a lot of time in Arsenal’s half.

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James Crawford

Promoted to editor in 2016, James has met famous footballing faces from Robbie Savage to John Barnes. Very passionate football fan and writer and has a degree in journalism,

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