Arsenal pre-match latest: Including Koscielny 'alright' and Bayern absentees

News and gossip ahead of the Champions League tie with Bayern Munich tonight.

Team news now ahead of the crunch tie for Arsenal against Bayern Munich tonight and while many debate the fitness of Laurent Koscielny ahead of the game his French compatriot Francis Coquelin has told French press that the Frenchman should be fit despite missing training with sickness on Monday. It was originally reported he missed the session with a calf problem but Coquelin stated differently. If Koscielny does not recover it may see Coquelin used at right-back with Bacary Sagna filling in at centre-back alongside Per Mertesacker. Carl Jenkinson is also available as Thomas Vermaelen looks set to fill in at left-back against the German league leaders as Nacho Monreal is cup-tied and Kieran Gibbs injured.

Otherwise Arsenal are at a full complement and have plenty of decisions to make in the attacking options.

Bayern Munich have a few noticeable absentees as Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber miss out with suspension and a knee injury respectively. Claudio Pizarro, who scored the last time the two teams met in Munich, is out with an illness. They will however be able to call on Javi Martinez after Jupp Heynckes confirmed the Spaniard had recovered from a bruised toe in time for the game.

Heynckes has also leant his support to the man who will be in the opposite dugout. He says Wenger must not be treated too harshly as the competition he comes up against in the English Premier League is high; with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs all teams to have played in the Champions League in recent years.

The day after Arsene Wenger’s press conference outburst and former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson, who has previously called the Frenchman a ‘dictator’ at the club, has roundly criticised the manager. He stated that the Frenchman is a poor tactician, doesn’t do enough work on the training ground and is leading the side down the wrong path adding that he should have been sacked five years ago.

In other news and a player linked with a move to Arsenal yesterday has today stated that Barcelona should sign Jack Wilshere. The Brazilian Dani Alves believes the England international could become as good as Xavi and Iniesta if he was to make the move to Catalonia.

Finally and the interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta has increased according to The Daily Mail. His contract runs out in the summer and Bilbao are ready to let him leave in the same way Fernando Llorente will this summer. Anzhi Makhachkala are also interested as are Liverpool but it is believed Arsenal have already begun talks with the Venezuelan international.

What are your thoughts on everything Arsenal ahead of the Champions League tie with Bayern Munich?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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