Arsenal have been dealt a blow on the eve of their Champions League clash with European champions Bayern Munich, with Arsene Wenger confirming that Kieran Gibbs has joined Nacho Monreal on the sidelines.
Gibbs came off late in the Gunners 4-1 FA Cup victory over Everton, raising fresh fears for Arsenal fans that he would not be available for selection. Gibbs was replaced by Monreal in the first leg, a moment that proved pivotal as Monreal failed to track his runner Franck Ribery, who rounded Wojciech Szczesny and earned his side a numerical advantage as well as a penalty.
Wenger has, however, confirmed that Laurent Koscielny has recovered from a hamstring injury that forced his absence during the international fixtures in midweek, freeing captain Thomas Vermaelen to play at left back in place of the absent Gibbs and Monreal.
Arsenal face an extremely difficult test in Munich, attempting to overturn a two goal deficit from the first leg.
The reigning Champions League holders are in imperious form, having just completed their 16th straight win in the Bundesliga, sweeping aside fifth placed VFL Wolfsburg 6-1.
Much has been made of the Gunners' 2-0 win in Munich during the last 16 of last seasons' tournament, yet it is not absurd to argue that Guardiola has made
Bayern an even stronger outfit this season, changing their style to a more possession based game.
Aaron Ramsey and Kim Kallstrom also may feature, with both nearing full fitness after extended layoffs due to injury. Should Arsenal worry Bayern Munich at the Allianz, a fit and firing Ramsey could prove crucial.
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