The Champions League draw took place on Thursday afternoon and it saw the Gunners draw some familiar looking opponents.
Arsenal were in pot 2 for the draw, meaning they were always likely to face a European giant. Bayern Munich are that giant. Arsene Wenger’s men will face the German side for a 3rd time in 4 years. Apart from Bayern, though – the group looks OK. Maximum points should be no problem from home games against Olympiacos and Zagreb and overall you’d expect us to get the 10pts which is normally enough to go through. Below are the dates of all fixtures in the group, back to back games against Bayern don’t look appealing.
16 September: Dinamo Zagreb (A)
29 September: Olympiacos (H)
20 October: Bayern Munich (H)
4 November: Bayern Munich (A)
24 November: Dinamo Zagreb (H)
9 December: Olympiacos (A)
The fixtures have thrown up some tricky combination of fixtures in the schedule for the Gunners. The first tricky spell comes between September 16 to September 29. Dinamo Zagreb away (16th) Chelsea away (19th), Tottenham Hotspur away (23rd – League Cup) and Leicester away (26th), then home to Olympiacos (29th). That’s 13 days which include four tricky away trips and a must win home game against Olympiacos.
The next sticky schedule falls in October/November. We will travel to Watford on October 17th, then host Bayern (20th) and Everton (24th), before travelling to Swansea (31st), Bayern Munich (4th Nov) and finally host Tottenham in the league on the 8th of November.
Let’s hope our season does not fall apart during these periods. I am confident we will advance and look forward to a couple of good games against Bayern Munich, if we want to be amongst the very best we need to show we can compete toe to toe with them.