The Champions League returns to Munich as the FC Bayern host Arsenal F.C. at the Allianz Arena tonight (live in English from 20.45 CET on Twitter and fcbayern.de Web Radio). Bayern have won four out of nine fixtures against Arsenal, losing three times, and drawing twice. Two weeks after the 2-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium in, the Bavarians' mission is clear: on Matchday 4 of the Champions League group stage they aim to win against the Gunners, who currently lie second in the Premier League.
“We should try to win – because we almost have to,” warned chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on FCB.tv with regard to the situation in Group F, “if not, we'll be under pressure ourselves at some point.” Robert Lewandowski added: “After the defeat in London we need points. Our situation is still good on six points, but we absolutely want to win.”
While Bayern 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,” team Captain Philipp Lahm said.
Bayern coach 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. The match in Frankfurt was the first Bundesliga match of the current season at which Bayern didn’t earn three points (0:0).
The Allianz Arena is a stronghold in the Champions League. Pep Guardiola's troops have won their last seven matches at home, conceding only three goals and scoring 27 for an average of 3.9 per game. The last home defeat dates back to the 2013/14 season, a 4-0 reverse against Real Madrid in the semi-finals. The club record is nine home victories in a row, from September 2011 to December 2012.
The recent yield against teams from England is very poor for German sides. English clubs have won all of the last eight European encounters with German teams. FC Bayern have a positive home record against English clubs with 12 wins, three defeats and six draws.