Arsenal host Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday in an encounter they must win in order to have any realistic chance of progressing to the Champions League knockout stage.
The Gunners have opened their European campaign with defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos, leaving them in a vulnerable position and in need of a positive result over Bayern.
Pep Guardiola’s men will come to the Emirates Stadium and look to dominate the ball, therefore the Gunners would be wise to flood the midfield and attack the visitors at pace on the counter.
David Ospina has been Arsenal’s goalkeeper in Europe this season, yet for such a crucial encounter boss Arsene Wenger would be wise to play his best number one, Petr Cech.
The injury to Gabriel Paulista is a blow, but Per Mertesacker’s height and experience could prove invaluable against Robert Lewandowski, arguably the world’s best number nine on current form.
Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin pick themselves following their impressive displays during the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger usually likes to play Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin alongside each other, but against Bayern the latter ought to drop deeper in order to prevent those passes through the lines.
Arsenal adopted a similar approach away at Manchester City earlier this year, a system which astounded observers and pundits alike as the North London outfit professionally triumphed 2-0.
Doubts may be raised over Mesut Ozil’s impact from a wide area, but for Arsenal they need to plug the midfield and Aaron Ramsey’s work-rate and energy makes him an ideal candidate for a central role.
Arsenal’s best hope would be to drop deep, allow Bayern possession and hit them with quick counter-attacks through the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott.
They’ve already proven against Manchester United how lethal they can be on the break, and adopting a similar approach would be wise as they can’t afford to be too open in midfield and at the back.
Guardiola’s men have been utterly formidable this season, maintaining a 100% record in the Bundesliga.
However, they haven’t faced a side capable of countering with such speed like Arsenal do and there are weaknesses and a lack of pace at the back in that Bayern team for the hosts to exploit.