Bayern braced for Gunners’ salvo

champions league trophy

Bavarian giants have their eyes on becoming the first team to win Europe’s premier club competition in back-to-back seasons.

It’s all eyes on the Emirates Stadium in North London tomorrow when the defending Champions League title-holders Bayern Munich take on Arsenal in what promises to be a thrilling round of 16 encounter. The Bavarian giants are runaway leaders of the Bundesliga, in the semifinals of their domestic cup and, of course, have their eyes on becoming the first ever team to win Europe’s premier club competition in back-to-back seasons.

Coached by ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, Bayern have lost just one competitive game during the whole of the current season – their final Champions League group-stage encounter with Manchester City – but will arrive in London knowing that they will have to produce their best once again to get past an Arsenal team enjoying their best season in years. Fans across the world will be looking forward to an open game played by teams who love to attack. The Germans have racked up an impressive 59 goals in 21 Bundesliga encounters this season, but the strength of their defence is even more amazing: Germany international goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and his back four have conceded just 9 goals and Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger knows he will have his work cut out finding a way to goal over the two legs.

Last season saw this duo meet at the same stage of the competition, with the Germans cruising to a 3-1 win at the Emirates before suffering a surprise 2-0 loss at their own Allianz Arena in the second leg. Things could be close again this year, but the quality of Bayern’s squad should see them through in the end.

Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich 1st leg odds:

Arsenal                 4.75
Draw                     3.8
Bayern                  1.7

(All odds provided by www.intertops.eu  are accurate as of todaybut subject to change)

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chrisives-50CHRIS I. (tipsterchris) is a European sports blogger who’s hooked on football — both NFL American football and European football.  Chris discusses betting tips and trends and includes betting odds in his regular posts at BI.

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Little doubt that the Bundesliga title race is already all but over

German soccer fan

Bayern Munich travel to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday

The last of Europe’s major soccer leagues, the German Bundesliga, returns to action this weekend when defending champions and current table-toppers Bayern Munich travel to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday. A fantastic first-half to the season saw Bayern enter the month-long winter break unbeaten after 16 games (14 wins, two draws) with an extremely comfortable 7-point cushion over nearest rivals Bayer Leverkusen. There is little doubt amongst fans and pundits alike that the Bundesliga title race is already all but over, but that won’t stop Germany’s biggest club looking to continue to set new standards.

New coach Pep Guardiola, who had the unenviable task of succeeding triple-winner Jupp Heynckes in the summer, has made a huge impact at the club and won many friends throughout the country. His team play attractive attacking football, but also have a defensive record that is second to none in Europe after conceding just 8 goals in 16 games so far. A surprising 3-0 friendly game defeat at Salzburg on Saturday may have caused some negative headlines during the week, but there is no doubt that Guardiola will have his team focussed on the difficult job at hand against Gladbach.

The “Foals” will be motivated to the hilt after a superb first half of the season that saw them enjoy Christmas in third place in the Bundesliga table. Coach Lucien Favre has done a fantastic job installing both discipline and flair into his team and has made them almost unbeatable at home. With a record of 8 wins and one draw in 9 games in front of their own fans, they certainly won’t be fearful of a visit from the champions and with the national spotlight on the Bundesliga opener for 2014, they could well spring a surprise!

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Bayern Munich Odds

Mönchengladbach 7.5
Draw 4.75

Bayern Munich 1.36

(Odds supplied by www.allyoubet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

______________________________________________

chrisives-50CHRIS I. (tipsterchris) is a European sports blogger who’s hooked on football — both NFL American football and European football.  Chris discusses betting tips and trends and includes betting odds in his regular posts at BI.