A number of pundits have already written the Gunners off up against the Bundesliga champions but there are at least ten ways the North Londoners can boast they are stronger…
1) Open Play
Despite Bayern Munich possessing some of the most technically gifted players on the planet, Arsenal have scored more goals from open play than their German counterparts. Arsenal have scored 37 goals from open play in the Premier League this term to Bayern Munich’s 34 in the Bundesliga.
2) Counter Attack
Likewise the Gunners have scored more goals from counter attacking than the Germans this term. Arsenal have scored three goals catching the opposition on the break to Bayern Munich’s solitary one which bodes well for them, especially when they head out to the Allianz Arena in March.
3) Own Goals
The Gunners haven’t scored a single own goal (yet) this term in the English top tier which is one less than the Bavarians.
Arsenal have been caught offside 10 times fewer than Bayern Munich. The Bavarians have been flagged 35 times this season to Arsenal's 25 times.
5) Through Balls
Arsenal have successfully completed more through balls than Bayern, 96 so far this term to the German champions’ 57.
6) Aerial Duels
They’ve been stronger in the air too this term, winning 412 of their aerial duels to the Bavarians’ 379.
The North Londoners have also successfully made more tackles than their German rivals – Arsenal players have taken the ball 474 times to Bayern Munich’s 319 times in the Bundesliga.
Likewise, Arsenal have made more successful interceptions, 338 in total this term to Bayern’s 200.
However, despite tackling more and intercepting more as well as being more combative in the air, the Gunners have made fewer fouls on the opposition. Arsenal have made a total of 218 fouls, which is 9 fouls less than Bayern’s 227 fouls committed.
10) Free Kicks
Arsenal have also been fouled more often – the Gunners have been awarded a free kick by the referee on 251 occasions this season to Bayern Munich’s 237.
Arsenal are stronger in the air than Bayern Munich, they are more competent defensively, not only in terms of last-ditch tackles but in interceptions as well, as evidenced by their same number of clean sheets and fewer own goals, despite the Bundesliga being slightly behind the Premier League in terms of attacking quality across all teams.
The Gunners also score more goals from open play at the other end of the pitch – all in all there is no particularly convincing reason the Premier League leaders can’t make it through the tie against the European champions this round if they play to their numerous strengths, and can at least be optimistic.
image: © wonker