Soccer Picks: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich in Champions League

Steven Suarez

Monday, February 18, 2013 6:20 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 6:20 PM GMT

The Gunners, fresh off a humiliating loss in the FA Cup over the weekend, must move on quickly, as they'll host German giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League this Tuesday. What's the best option for our soccer picks in this match?

 


Odds Overview

Even on their home ground, the Gunners aren't getting much love from the soccer oddsmakers. Right now Arsenal is listed at 5/2 to get this Round of 16 tie off to a flying start. 

If you believe Bayern will take it to the Gunners from the opening whistle and get the win, you can back the Germans at 21/20. A draw seems more than reasonable as well, and that can be added to your soccer picks at the price of 13/5. 

Arsenal

Gunners fans, and practically everyone else, were expecting a comfortable win for their team in the FA Cup against Blackburn.

After all, Arsenal was at home and facing off against a Blackburn team that now competes in the Championship. The Gunners, despite the off result here and there, had been able to protect their home-field advantage quite well, going unbeaten in three straight matches at the Emirates until the disaster that happened in the cup.

Chances and possession were not a problem for Arsenal. They had 26 total shots, 12 of which were on goal, but they couldn't find their way past Jake Kean. Blackburn got their goal from Colin Kazim-Richards midway through the second half and then defended for their lives to notch a historic win in London.

Following the shock defeat, Arsene Wenger publicly questioned his team's mentality, in hopes it would give them added motivation to bring a legitimate fight to Bayern this week.

Thankfully, the Gunners will get to remain in London for the first leg of this European showdown. They'll certainly need that fan support against one of the world's best.

Bayern Munich 

The Germans are destroying everyone in their sight in the Bundesliga this term and currently hold a 15-point lead atop the table.

The numbers are quite scary. Bayern has lost just one game of 22 league matches on the season and have scored 57 goals while allowing just seven. They haven't been beaten in any of their 11 away fixtures and have given up just one goal during that span. Outstanding stuff.

Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller have been scoring most of the goals, with Mandzukic netting 15 times in domestic play and Muller recording 11 goals and nine assists himself.

Meanwhile, Mario Gomez, who was a goalscoring madman for the club last year, has found himself out of favor now that Manduzkic has come on board, but clearly Jupp Heynckes's selections have been working just fine. 

Truth be told, it's been an awfully long time since Bayern was reminded what it feels like to lose. They haven't suffered through defeat, amazingly enough, since a October 28 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, and they're not going to want to start now.

[gameodds]8/218884/43/us[/gameodds]

Champions League Pick

The Gunners looked punchless at home against a vastly “inferior” team in Blackburn and now have to deal with one of the world's most prestigious outfits.

Still, we like Arsenal to put forth a much better effort here on Tuesday. The Gunners tend to rise up and play better against bigger clubs and it's not like they're lacking in quality. Guys like Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski could all make an impact at any given moment.

Many are expecting a dominant performance from Bayern, and while that's certainly a possibility, we believe the Gunners will make a good account of themselves to make up for that lackluster performance over the weekend.

Pick: Arsenal 1 Bayern Munich 1

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