As we all know, Bayern Munich kinda has Arsenal’s number in the Champions League. 10 meetings since 2000, including four Round of 16 meetings, each of which eliminated Arsenal from the competition. So on top of the normal CL knockout pressure, there’s a lot of extra sauce on this game because Arsenal need to break that streak - they have to get past Bayern at some point here, and why not this year?
Shkodran Mustafi thinks they can, at least. He’s new to Arsenal, of course, but he knows how to sing from the team songsheet as well as anyone:
"We know that Bayern will be a difficult game, but we also know that if we play to our potential we can beat Bayern."
Which, duh. Of course they can. The question is if they will. They’ve had the talent and the potential to beat Bayern in at least two of those CL Round of 16 ties, and yet here they are, oh-for-four; whether this year can be different remains to be seen. Mustafi also said
"These are always big clubs with hugely talented players and games between two evenly-matched sides. The small details decide whether you win or lose."
And he’s right about that. Details and preparedness are going to be key; if Arsenal play the way they normally play, Bayern will probably steamroll them. But if Arsenal sweat the small stuff and understand that Bayern will press them like olives into oil if Arsenal let them, and develop a way to react accordingly. they might come out of the first leg with a shot at winning the tie.