Created on 03-11-2015 at 16:45 PM
The Champions League returns to Munich as FC Bayern host Arsenal at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday (Live in English from 20.45 CET on Twitter and fcbayern.de Web Radio). Two weeks after a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium in North London, the Bavarians' mission is clear: on Matchday 4 of the group stage they aim to win against the Gunners, who currently lie second in the Premier League.
“It's an important game,” stressed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge before the match. “We want to correct the result from London,” continued the FCB chairman. The Bavarians' goal “has not changed” after the defeat in the first leg: “We want to top the group.” After three matchdays FC Bayern and Olympiacos share first place on six points, followed by Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb on three apiece.
Fight for first place
While the men from Munich had no difficulties during the group stage in the last two campaigns, they are now under pressure for the first time this season. “The match is very important for us to get through to the next round. But even if we win it'll be very, very difficult to stay top,” stated skipper Philipp Lahm.
“If we lose we could get into trouble,” agreed defender Javi Martínez. In the case of a defeat, claiming first place would no longer be entirely in FCB’s own hands. But even one point is not enough for the ever-ambitious Pep Guardiola: “I’ve never told my players to play for a draw. We have the chance to take all three points, so why should we go for only one?”
The German record champions will give everything to win the match, which was always their intention in the first leg. “It's going to be an interesting game against undoubtedly strong opponents. Arsenal are a top-notch team,” declared Rummenigge. The men from Munich failed to win either of their last two home matches against the Gunners, but the FCB chairman is “optimistic” that they will wrap up their third success in this campaign's group stage.
Pep Guardiola will name a squad basically unchanged from the last two matches in Frankfurt and Wolfsburg. The only doubt is Jan Kirchhoff, who may miss out due to a stomach bug. David Alaba, Thomas Müller and Thiago could return to the starting line-up after Guardiola started the trio on the bench in Frankfurt.
Regardless of who makes the starting line-up on Wednesday evening, skipper Lahm has no doubts: “We don't need to spur ourselves on. We'll be playing at home in front of a capacity crowd, and we want to win. It's the Champions League, so if you're not up for it you're out of place!” So let's go!