Football

Mathieu Flamini key to Arsenal's Champions League hopes

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Most Arsenal fans would be forgiven for dreading drawing Bayern Munich in the round of 16, of this season's Champions League.

Bayern have been the best team in the world by leaps and bounds, winning a treble last season under coach Jupp Heckneyes and then welcoming new coach Pep Guardiola this summer.

Guardiola's tactically astute mind and methodologies have made Bayern even better, if that's at all possible. The last two games they played, they beat Frieburg 4-0 in the Bundesliga and Hamburg 5-0 in the cup before that.

Bayern seem to be steamrolling opponents aside but they now face an Arsenal team brimming with confidence.

After facing the humiliation of a 5-1 defeat against Liverpool and then the ignominy of being unable to beat, potentially the weakest Manchester United side in decades, Arsenal redeemed themselves by beating a full strength Liverpool team, with an arguably weaker team than the one they put out a week ago.

The key to this victory and the game tonight is Mathieu Flamini. He has been superb all season, with his peripatetic, tirelessly hardworking displays. He has an excellent passing accuracy of 92% this season and more importantly has been leader in the Arsenal midfield, always communicating with his team-mates and providing a real defensive steel to this Arsenal team, which was missing last season.

With Flamini, ready to mop up in the centre of the park, that gives the creative players in front of him freedom to pose a real threat to the opposition goal. With the team having to face one of the meanest defenses in Europe, the likes of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla have to be on song to have any hope of winning this game.

Two other lads who may have a very important role to play are Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Wilshere has the ability to go pass past people, and pick a pass as well. He has made late runs from deep in the midfield, combining well with Arsenal's front players and is having his best season in terms of goals, with five in all competitions.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has pace, width and a directness about him that Arsenal have been missing through Theo Walcott's absence. He had a man of the match performance against Liverpool, baring his clumsy challenge on Suarez and may have forced himself into Wenger's squad tonight.

He could prove to be a real outlet for the Gunners tonight, with them trying to catch Bayern on the counter attack.

Whatever happens, this is going to be one cracker of a game, though I hope Arsenal comes up on top with Wenger due a big win in this competition.

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Topics:
Bayern Munich
Arsenal
UEFA Champions League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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