Feb 19, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ‚ÄčEmirates Stadium
Bayern Munich

Sanogo (56'), Rosicky (86')
Szczesny (37')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Kroos (54'), Muller (88')
Boateng (8'), Mandzukic (45')

Preview: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich

Preview: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to Arsenal's Champions League meeting with holders Bayern Munich.

In recent seasons, the month of February has been the one to dread for those of an Arsenal persuasion.

More often than not, the Gunners have seen their title charge ended, been knocked out of the FA Cup and exited the Champions League, all in the space of a few weeks.

However, ahead of their first-leg meeting with Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, there have been signs of late that the current Arsenal side has greater mental strength. They are just one point behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League, while yesterday's 2-1 win over Liverpool has seen the North Londoners progress to the last eight of the FA Cup.

Bayern, though, are a different proposition, as Arsenal found out to their cost at the same stage of the competition last term. The Germans won the first leg in London 3-1 and while Arsenal responded with a 2-0 victory at the Allianz Arena, they were knocked out on the away goals rule. On the other hand, Bayern went on to lift the trophy for a fifth time.

If Arsene Wenger's side are to gain revenge, they will have to do so without the injured Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott, while midfielder Mikel Arteta has been ruled out through suspension. However, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is fit and following his recent performances, he could start.

Wenger's opposite number, Pep Guardiola, will not be able to call upon Ballon d'Or nominee Franck Ribery, who recently underwent surgery on a buttock complaint. Ribery's replacement would probably have been Xherdan Shaqiri, but the Swiss winger will play no part because of a muscular injury.

Guardiola's team go into the tie in good form, having won their last nine matches in all competitions, during which time they have scored 28 goals and conceded just two.

These two teams have met on six previous occasions, with Bayern leading the overall record 3-2.

Recent form

Arsenal: WDWLDW

Bayern: WWWWWW

Possible starting lineups

Arsenal: Szczesny; Gibbs, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna; Flamini, Wilshere; Ozil, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud

Bayern: Neuer; Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Rafinha; Lahm, Schweinsteiger; Tiago, Muller, Robben; Mandzukic

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Bayern Munich's Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs Sport Club Freiburg in Munich, southern Germany on February 15, 2014
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