Arsenal, the English champions travel to a snow-covered Munich to face Bayern in what looks a tough tie for Arsene Wenger’s men.
Defender Sol Campbell is definitely out of the game, whilst Ashley Cole is the one Englishman in line for Arsenal selection – but he is ill.
Manager Arsene Wenger conceded as he arrived in Munich: “We are not completely confident that he can play. A decision will be made just hours before the match. Additionally I am concerned about the climate.”
One aspect that has dominated the pre-match build-up is the meeting of the two goalkeepers who have competed for the German No1 spot in recent times – Bayern’s Oliver Kahn and Arsenal’s Jens Lehmann, expected to start ahead of Manuel Almunia. Both men in charge agree that this issue at least will not be resolved on Tuesday night.
“Jens Lehmann played for many years in Germany,” said Wenger.
“He does not need to be judged on this single match.”
Less diplomatically, Bayern coach Felix Magath stated: “Lehmann had just played a few matches in the last months. Where is Oliver Kahn’s challenger? I cannot see him.”
Magath is certainly full of confidence. Although key midfielder Michael Ballack remains doubtful, still feeling the effects of a muscle injury, Magath is convinced the Bundesliga leaders can defeat the English champions.
He said: “Our visitors are one of Europe’s top teams – I believe they would even be able to win the tournament, if they did not have to play us!”
England international, Owen Hargreaves, who has never played against Arsenal, could replace Ballack.
“It would be something really special,” Hargreaves admitted.
Hargreaves believes Bayern have one advantage.
“I would definitely say we are in better shape because we were able to recover in the German winter break. Hopefully, we will profit from that,” he said.
However, inspirational Bayern midfield player Mehmet Scholl warned: “We respect them. They are a really strong side full of top-class players.
“There cannot be anything more challenging than playing Arsenal. We must try not to allow them to get Thierry Henry into the game.”