Arsenal are the underdogs again ahead of the Champions League knockout tie – so how many of Arsene Wenger’s squad secure spots in our combined XI?
Bayern Munich host Arsenal in the Champions league this Wednesday for the fourth time in five seasons.
Arsenal visit the the Allianz Arena looking to improve on their previous record, having won two of the previous six matches against the Bundesliga champions.
The Gunners go into the round of 16 tie having lost two of their last three games, while Ancelotti’s side have 13 wins from 14.
Talisman Alexis Sanchez will be hoping to outscore Bayern’s inform striker Robert Lewandowski on the night.
The Chilean has bagged 17 Premier league goals this season compared to the Bayern man’s 15.
But which side heads into the first-leg with the better team? We’ve broken down each side to come up with a combined XI.
GK – Manuel Neuer
The easiest pick of the lot.
Even Petr Cech in his prime couldn’t take this spot from the German captain, who is the best goalkeeper in world football right now.
The 30-year-old sweeper-keeper has been the undisputed No.1 ever since his move to the German heavyweights in 2011.
RB – Philipp Lahm
Lahm may have announced his decision to retire at the end of the season last week but he’s the obvious choice in this team.
Once hailed by Pep Guardiola as the “cleverest player he has ever worked with”, he gets in over Hector Bellerin.
The Spaniard has plenty to offer but Lahm’s ability to read the game gets him the nod.
CB – Mats Hummels
With Bayern’s best centre-back Jerome Boateng likely to miss out, Hummels can fill the void.
His ability to play out from the back is a real weapon for Ancelotti’s men, regularly helping to start Munich’s attacks.
The former Dortmund defender would walk into any team in Europe and his experience is invaluable.
CB – Laurent Koscielny
Arsenal’s defence have looked shaky at times over the past two seasons but Laurent Koscielny has been their standout performer.
The Frenchman is a sure pick with the injury of Boateng and has formed a formidable partnership with new signing Shkodran Mustafi, who is unlucky not to make the XI.
Koscielny’s reading of the game and physicality in the challenge gets him the nod.
LB – David Alaba
Like Neuer, the Austria captain is regarded as the worlds best in his position.
Alaba’s composure, speed and power in possession is exactly why he’s so highly-rated.
Having regularly played in midfield under Pep Guardiola, Ancelotti has dropped him back into defence.
CM – Thiago Alcantara
The former Barcelona man has been in sensational form this season.
While he offers little defensive cover his passing, movement and technique warrant a spot in the centre of this midfield.
CM – Arturo Vidal
The Chilean midfielder is exactly the sort of player Wenger could do with in his injury stricken midfield.
Vidal does everything necessary in a game to be the perfect player – tackling, passing, dribbling and scoring.
He’ll be a real danger in the tie.
AMR – Thomas Muller
As far as skill sets go, Muller would probably be put in the average bracket.
He’s not the fastest, strongest or most skillful, but he keeps it simple – and he’s very effective.
Muller always seems to pop up with a goal when it matters, too.
AMC – Mesut Ozil
Arsenal’s record signing is suffering a poor run of form for the London side, failing to score or assist in his past three games.
The German playmaker retains the ability to carve open Bayern’s defence though, with his unique vision and superb passing.
Thiago and co. simply aren’t at Ozil’s level.
AML – Alexis Sanchez
It’s been an incredible campaign for the Arsenal forward as he shines in his new centre-forward role, but for the purposes of this team he’s been shunned out to the left.
Franck Ribéry would make a strong claim for this position as the 33-year-old is regaining some form, but a niggling thigh injury rules him out.
Sanchez’s goal threat makes him an automatic choice – where would Arsenal be without him?
CF – Robert Lewandowski
We couldn’t leave Lewandowksi out of this team.
The Polish striker’s goal record is quite incredible since joining Bayern.
His physicality, movement and finishing make him a nightmare to defend against and when it comes down to him or Giroud, it’s a no brainer.
Manager – Carlo Ancelotti
Both fantastic managers. Both have been at the top of their trade for over 15 years.
But only one has won a Champions league trophy – Mr Ancelotti.
It’s the one trophy that alludes Wenger and it may be his last year to get one.