Wednesday 22 November 2017

key battles

P MERTESACKER v M MANDZUKIC

Mertesacker is no stranger to Bayern's attacking prowess, having joined Arsenal from the Bundesliga, where he had spells with Hannover and Werder Bremen. He will need an improved display from the first leg if he is to help the Gunners avoid conceding any more goals via lapses in concentration. Croatia forward Mandzukic will be the main threat after netting seven times in Bayern's last nine games.

M ARTETA v L GUSTAVO

If Arsenal are to get themselves back into the tie, then an early supply line between midfield and attack will be crucial. With Jack Wilshere sidelined, Arteta is likely to be the main creative force for the Gunners, aiming to unleash the pace of Theo Walcott behind the German backline. Brazilian Gustavo will be the man charged with nullifying any options for quick transition from the English side.

O GIROUD v D VAN BUYTEN

France international Giroud missed a great chance to make it 2-2 in the first leg and if another comes along at the Allianz Arena, then he cannot afford to be so lax in front of goal. Giroud is often likened to a typical old-fashioned English centre-forward, and will again be closely guarded by Belgian defender Van Buyten, who had a short loan spell at Manchester City in 2004.

Irish Independent

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