Gunners aim Bayern scalp

AC Milan hope to score against in-form Spanish side Atletico

Gunners aim Bayern scalp

Arsenal will be out to show they have learnt the lessons of last season’s painful home defeat by Bayern Munich when the sides meet again in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in London on Wednesday.

Holders Bayern were utterly dominant in  3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium, and although Arsenal went on to salvage pride with a 2-0 win in Munich in the return leg, it was not enough to prevent the Gunners going out of the competition in the round of 16 for the third consecutive season.

They face a daunting task to avoid making it four years in a row, however, with the Bayern juggernaut showing little sign of slowing under Pep Guardiola, who led Barcelona to victory over Arsenal at this stage.

Despite recent wobbles, Arsenal are a sterner proposition this time as they mount their first serious Premier League challenge for years, and should be boosted by a 2-1 FA Cup victory over Liverpool, eight days after the same opponents thrashed them 5-1. German defender Per Mertesacker acknowledged that it would take “two perfect games” for Arsenal to progress, but that it was important not to show Bayern too much respect

Mikel Arteta is suspended after being sent off in the group stage loss to Napoli, while Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs and Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky, who was rested, were expected to return. Bayern’s domestic dominance shows no sign of slowing, with Saturday’s 4-0 win over Freiburg coming despite Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Thiago and Mario Goetze being rested. Their Bundesliga winning streak is 13 matches and victory extended their unbeaten run to 46. Their only loss in this season’s Champions League group stage came at home to Manchester City. 

They will be without Franck Ribery, who is suffering with a buttock injury, and his potential replacement Xherdan Shaqiri is also out with a thigh strain. Clarence Seedorf will need to tap into all the experience he gained as the only player to win the Champions League with three different clubs if his AC Milan side are to get past Atletico Madrid into the quarterfinals. Milan host the Spanish club, who are riding high in La Liga, for their last 16, first leg on Wednesday, when Seedorf will make his coaching debut in Europe’s elite club competition after taking over last month from Massimiliano Allegri.

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