Arsenal face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night in the first leg of their round-of-16 Champions League clash and have no room for error.
With their Premier League title chances all-but over for another year, many are hopeful that they can put a strong Champions League run together to make up for their domestic disappointment.
It won’t be easy against the German champions, albeit they haven’t looked as convincing this season, as Carlo Ancelotti has a wealth of experience in this competition and has world-class players at his disposal.
While Arsenal will be looking for a decent result to take back to the Emirates, it’s claimed that Arsene Wenger will leave himself open to criticism by making a big change to his starting line-up.
Although David Ospina has started all six games so far in Europe this season, with Arsenal going unbeaten in the group stages, it’s surely still a risk to change things at the back with first-choice league goalkeeper Petr Cech being dropped to the bench.
Wenger doesn’t see it that way, and while Ospina is certainly a quality shot-stopper, it does still seem like a gamble to make such an important change in such a high-risk situation.
In fairness, Cech hasn’t particularly covered himself in glory this season as he has struggled in the eyes of many, and so perhaps Ospina is the more sensible decision.
“I have nothing to hide there, it will be Ospina because of the quality of his performances,” Wenger said, as noted by Sky Sports.
“We are in the last 16 and finished top of the group. If you analyse his performances in every single game we are where we are because of his great performances.”
Despite his poor form in recent weeks, Mesut Ozil is expected to start for the Gunners, as they look to pick up a positive result that they can take back to London and build on in the second leg.
The German international has really struggled to have any type of influence on games in recent weeks, and so he has to step up and deliver in this one in order to silence the critics and prove that he can produce in the big games.
“Ozil has been playing for us for many years now and he knows perfectly our team and he knows how we want to play in every match. So it is an important match,” Wenger added.