Predicted Bayern Munich XI to play Arsenal - Muller, Robben and Thiago all feature

Arjen Robben

Match to be played on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 19:45 GMT. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Pep Guardiola will take a strong team to the Emirates Stadium this week as Bayern Munich look for a first leg advantage to take back to the Allianz Arena.

Guardiola’s side will be full of confidence coming off the back of another impressive win in the Bundesliga, which has protected their league lead and given them momentum ahead of the game.

The two big pieces of injury news for Bayern relate to wide men Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri who will both miss the game with problems.

Here’s the side Guardiola could name for Wednesday’s first leg.

GK – Manuel Neuer

An ever present in the recent development of this current Bayern Munich side. He’s been a world class, consistent goalkeeper ever since he moved from FC Schalke.

RB – Jerome Boateng

The former Manchester City star has settled in nicely on the right hand side of the defence, which has allowed Guardiola to move the experienced Rafinha into the middle while turning Philipp Lahm into a holding midfield man.

CB – Rafinha

Not the most glamorous or flamboyant of defenders but he injects a lot of experience into the back four and can cover on the right if Boateng gets caught out of position.

CB – Dante

The Brazilian centre back will be one of the first names down on the team sheet for this game. This is a chance for him to show off his quality in another big game.

LB – David Alaba

Alaba is one of the best left-backs in Europe at the moment and someone who knows his role and position in the team inside out.

RM – Thomas Muller

Muller started on the right over the weekend and he’ll more than likely stay there following the news that Shaqiri is out of action with a thigh problem. Expect to see him popping up in central positions.

DM – Philipp Lahm

Lahm will be the Bayern Munich midfielder who sits and looks to offer the back four a little protection with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Arsenal’s wide man looking to hurt Bayern.

CM – Javi Martinez

Martinez has the ability to pull the strings in the centre of midfield, connecting the various sections of the team and moving possession on quickly.

AM – Arjen Robben

Robben has been used in a role behind the main striker this season and Guardiola could give him free licence. He won’t stay exclusively in the middle and will drift to either side throughout the game.

LM – Thiago

The former Barcelona man has played on the left already for Bayern this season. Similarly to when Arsenal’s central midfielders have played a left role, he will tuck inside to create extra pressure through the centre when Alaba gets forward.

ST – Mario Mandzukic

Mandzukic’s job is simple; press both Arsenal centre backs and get into good goalscoring positions. He doesn’t have a need to drop off because there is so much firepower and talent in Bayern’s midfield.

image: © Lorenzo Blangiardi

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