Home Sports Football Match Preview – UCL Quarterfinal LEG 1: Arsenal cruised comfortably

Match Preview – UCL Quarterfinal LEG 1: Arsenal cruised comfortably

Match Preview – UCL QF LEG 1

Arsenal had a comfortable 3-0 win over Brighton, and they are one of the joint frontrunners for the Premier League title this season. Meanwhile, Bayern Munich was shocked by Heidenheim with a 3-2 defeat, and they now trail Bayer Leverkusen by 16 points. In the Champions League, Arsenal made it to the quarterfinals after beating Porto on penalties, with David Raya making two crucial saves. Bayern also progressed after a comfortable win against Lazio, with Harry Kane scoring twice and Thomas Muller also getting a goal.

The upcoming fixture will provide different experiences for both sides. Bayern Munich has reached the knockout stages of the Champions League in each of their last four campaigns, while Arsenal hasn’t made it that far since 2010. Thomas Tuchel has significant experience in the Champions League, having won it with Chelsea, while Arteta is leading Arsenal in the competition for the first time.

Both clubs would have the previous meeting on their minds, where Arsenal were thumped 10-2 on aggregate by the Bavarians. Things have drastically changed for both sides since the last meeting, especially Arsenal.

Under Mikel Arteta, they’ve been playing as a collective force that plays with different emotions with lots of maturity. With one of the best defensive units in Europe this season, their backline is like a bolted-back door where it gets really difficult to get past, and their variations up front in attack create massive uncertainty.

Arsenal are battling in a three-horse race to win the Premier League and also the Champions League, whereas for Bayern Munich, the Champions League fixture remains the only realistic hope of silverware this season. Despite being the inexperienced side, can Mikel Arteta’s Gunner pull off a favorable result going into the second leg?

When & Where?

Date: 9th April 2024, Wednesday.
Time: 20:00 HRS BST
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England.

Match Officials

Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
Assistants: Mahbod Beigi (SWE), Andreas Söderqvist (SWE)
Fourth Official: Adam Ladebäck (SWE)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Assistant VAR: Dennis Higler (NED)

Team News

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Arsenal have a much cleaner bill of health. Their only long-term absentee is Jurrien Timber (ACL). Bukayo Saka picked up a few niggles whilst playing against Brighton and was taken off on the hour mark but is still expected to start.

The visitor’s medical room is filled with injuries and uncertainty for the fixture. Bouna Sarr (ACL), Sacha Boey (hip) remain out of contention.

Tuchel still has to make a call on the fitness of Leroy Sane (groin), Manuel Neuer (groin), Kingsley Coman (thigh), Mazaroui (illness) and Pavlovic (illness). Although they all missed the weekend domestic fixture, they were spotted training with the squad on Monday.

Pre-Match Tactical Analysis

Bayern this season feels like a side that is vulnerable but still a big threat. Bayern’s defensive unit has been disjointed this season, conceding goals through the middle, back post, crosses, and also set pieces. Their set-up off the ball doesn’t have a collective force that drives them with no stability at the back, which could be well and truly advantageous to Arsenal.

It’s also quite interesting to know who they will start as their CB’s going into the fixture—the duo of Kim Min Jae and Upamecano or Dier and De Ligt, like they’ve usually done in recent weeks.

For Arsenal to solve their central progression, they’ll likely set up in a 4-2-4 buildup with a major emphasis on hitting wider wingers. The double-pivot Arsenal field and the wingers falling back to defend in transitions can be crucial for the man-to-man press. Exploiting the spaces Davies and Kimmich leave will be crucial.

A couple of good-to-like battles to see if they start in the fixture, particularly Saka vs. Davies and Martinelli/Jesus vs. Kimmich. A mix of pace, agility, and flair with experience and bloody-mindedness at its core. Contaminating Sane could be a real task for Arsenal’s defense, given how silky smooth he is on the wings. Many would be gummed to their screens wanting to have a look at Bukayo Saka’s battle against Davies, and it goes both ways. Both of them are skillful and pacey with the ball at their feet while quick thinkers and smart players. Saka should be tested, it will be interesting how he fares against the Canadian.

Harry Kane back at the Emirates against the monstrous duo of Gabriel and Saliba will be a nail-biting matchup. Jamal Musiala’s attacking outlet shouldn’t be going under the radar for the obvious moments of magic that he creates.

The biggest question mark lies down the left, with Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, and Leandro Trossard all vying for a starting position. Tomiyasu and Kiwior are both in contention to start. Whether Jorginho keeps his place or Partey displaces him in the lineup is a question too.

Key Players

Bukayo Saka

Saka blistering pace and exceptional dribbling makes him a huge threat vs the Bavarians. With 7 G/A in his debut Champions League season, he would wantto increase his tally against Bayern. The gaps created in defence and the spaces that the full backs can give Saka an added boost in imposing himself higher up the pitch. Facing Davies on the wing will test his expcetional 1v1 qualities. His directness can disrupt Bayern rhythm while his quick feet can help him draw fouls in key areas.

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Harry Kane

The highest goalscorer in the Bundesliga and joint highest in the Champions League this season has been already making headlines for obvious reasons. The former Tottenham Hotspur poacher has a brief history facing their North London rivals Arsenal scoring 14 times in 19 matches with 5 coming at the Emirates stadium. One of the best finishers in the world, when provided with the space can eat you up, quite literally. His clever positioning will keep Arsenal’s defenders on their feet. His link up play is an equal threat while making combinations with Musiala and Muller especially.

Predicted XI

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Bayern Munich: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Rice, Partey, Odegaard, Martinelli, Havertz, Saka.

Bayern Munich predicted lineup vs Arsenal: Ulreich, Kimmich, Upamecano, Kim, Davies, Goretzka, Laimer; Muller, Musiala, Gnabry, Kane.



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