Arsenal face the ultimate test of their impressive recovery over the past 12 months at the Emirates tomorrow night, when reigning European champions Bayern Munich arrive for a direct repeat of last season's Champions League Last 16 tie between continental giants.
Bayern have quite remarkably improved still further this season under the leadership of Pep Guardiola, extending an unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 46 matches last weekend to leave them in complete control of things on the domestic front.
Arsene Wenger's men were edged on away goals last season following a brave effort at the Allianz Arena, but the tie was effectively killed in the first leg at the Emirates last season by a 3-1 defeat.
The Gunners are a more resilient outfit this season but do have a number of key personnel missing for tomorrow night's showdown, with Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey on the long-term injury list plus Mikel Arteta sidelined through suspension.
Wenger is widely expected to make wholesale changes from the side which edged Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup last season, which should mean recalls for Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere.
The most difficult selection dilemma Wenger faces comes on the right-hand side, with Tomas Rosicky back and hoping to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, despite his impressive display against Liverpool.
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the opening goal and created Podolski's strike last Sunday with a pacy burst down the flank, but Wenger could favour the experience and defensive nous of Rosicky against a side used to dominating possession.
Bayern meanwhile are definitely without Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri tomorrow evening, which should that Mario Gotze gets a start in an advanced wide position.
Guardiola rested Mario Mandzukic last weekend and could decide to operate without a recognised striker at the Emirates to push Thomas Muller further forward, although the Croatian international is on form and would offer a focal point in the final third.
Thiago Alcantara is pushing for a starting spot in midfield, while captain Philipp Lahm will continue to operate in a holding central role.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, Rosicky, Giroud
Bayern: Neuer, Rafinha, Dante, Boateng, Alaba, Lahm, Kroos, Gotze, Thiago, Robben, Muller
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