Arsenal will have to beat Bayern Munich without Jack Wilshere, after the England international was ruled out of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with an ankle injury.
The Gunners are on the brink of exiting the competition after suffering a 3-1 defeat in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium last month, and many feel they face ‘mission impossible’ in trying to overcome a Bayern side that is the favourite to win this season’s Champions League.
That task has been made even more difficult after manager Arsene Wenger confirmed they will be without key midfielder Wilshere for the match at the Allianz Arena.
The Frenchman told the club’s official website, www.arsenal.com: “Wilshere is out with an inflamed (left) ankle, not the (right side) where he was injured (previously), and he will be out for three weeks.
“He will not be available for Munich, for Swansea and not for the England games (this month).”
Bacary Sagna is also missing for Arsenal due to a knee problem, but they do have Kieran Gibbs back and Abou Diaby could overcome injury in time to feature.
Wenger added: “(Gibbs) is back in the squad, yes. It is great to have him back because we play Vermaelen out of position, although he can play left back.
“I have not decided if Kieran will start, but hopefully he will be fit to start.
“Sagna is not available, (but) Diaby is back in the squad. He has a (fitness) test. Again, he is a bit short but hopefully he can travel.”
Bayern Munich are without winger Franck Ribery for this clash, after he suffered ankle ligament damage, and fellow wide-man Arjen Robben faces a late fitness test after injuring his calf.
Suspension means both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng sit this one out for the hosts.
Possible starting XIs:
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Daniel Van Buyten, Dante, Javi Martinez, Luiz Gustavo, Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Mario Mandzukic.
Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Carzorla, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski.