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Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich: Champions League preview

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Arsenal's Champions League life is hanging on by a thread, so who better to face?

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Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The Champions League hasn't been a lot of fun for Arsenal fans so far. Although the draw wasn't as much of a cakewalk as many would like, it certainly set up well for the Gunners to at least get out of the group and into the knockout stages for the umpteenth year in a row. But the first two games were utter disasters, leading to a pair of Arsenal losses to teams they probably ought to be beating. So now it's time to get back on track. And who better to face than one of the three teams that most people would pick to win the whole thing?

The one positive is that Bayern Munich isn't at full strength. Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are both missing as far as I can tell, and Mario Gotze is also unavailable (among others). There's more, but suffice it to say they'll be missing some players you've heard of. That's the good news. The bad news is that they're so deep, they can still start Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Douglas Costa if they want.

On the Arsenal side, pretty much everything should be fine. Gabriel's back, but might not play. David Ospina is out, but he hopefully wasn't going to be playing anyway. If Arsenal play like they did against Manchester United, they'll have a shot. But if they revert to their earlier Champions League form, well, passersby will not be amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.

Arsenal can still (theoretically) advance to the knockout stages without a win in this game, if other results go their way. A draw and a loss against Bayern, followed by wins in the other two games, could do it. But it's not exactly likely. A win here would change things a lot, so let's go get three points and worry about the rest later.

WHO:

Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich

Champions League Group F

WHERE:

Emirates Stadium, London

WHEN:

2:30pm EDT / 1:30pm CDT / 11:30am PDT

HOW (to watch):

US viewers: Fox Sports 2 / Worldwide: livesoccertv.com