Soccer Picks: Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal in Champions League

Steven Suarez

Monday, March 11, 2013 6:09 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 11, 2013 6:09 PM GMT

How on earth are the Gunners going to erase a 3-1 deficit? It seems almost impossible, especially with the return leg at Allianz Arena, but stranger things have happened.

Odds Overview

At almost 1/3 odds, Bayern is favored by a large margin for this second leg. Assuming you believe the Germans will stroll to another, consider a handicap bet which would have them winning by two or more goals. The value for your soccer picks will be much better.

If you think Arsenal is worth a shot, they're attractively priced at 7/1, while a draw has been set at almost 4/1 in the soccer odds.

[gameodds]8/221280/43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]

Bayern Munich

The Bavarians have been in daunting form all season, but they will be a little short-handed for this visit of Arsenal. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng are out due to suspension, while Franck Ribery will miss the match because of an ankle injury.

Under normal circumstances, that would have a crippling effect on top-flight teams, but Bayern have fantastic depth to their squad and should be able to cope just fine.

Simply look at the first leg and you'll see why. The Bavarians had the likes of Robben, Rafinha and Mario Gomez sitting on the bench for crying out loud, so we doubt they'll be affected too much by the absences.

Bayern have continued to dominate in every competition since the first leg win at the Emirates. They pummeled Werder Bremen 6-1 at home and have also beaten TSG Hoffenheim and Fortuna Dusseldorf in the league. In the DFB Pokal quarters, they topped Borussia Dortmund 1-0.

Everything is going according to plan for the Germans this season, as they're well on their way to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and have an unreal 20-point advantage atop the Bundesliga table.

Arsenal 

With the Gunners out of the FA Cup, they've seen their schedule load become much lighter recently. That hasn't managed to help their results though.

Following the humbling loss to Bayern in the first leg, Arsenal was able to fend off Aston Villa in a 2-1 win. But they couldn't keep it together against Tottenham, losing 2-1 in a match that could end up having huge implications in the top four race.

As it stands, the Gunners are in fifth place, five points back of Chelsea for fourth, although they do have a game in hand. Liverpool, Everton and West Brom are chomping on Arsenal's heels though, so they can't afford to keep slipping up. However, for now Arsene Wenger will have his entire focus on this herculean task in Munich.

For the most part, Arsenal have battled hard in away matches during their Champions League campaign. In group play they beat Montpellier, tied Schalke and then lost to Olympiakos.

Allianz Arena is a whole different proposition though, especially because of the form the Germans have been in this year. It's going to take something quite special for Arsenal to turn around this tie.

Also check out my Soccer Picks: Schalke vs. Galatasaray for more Champions League betting value.

Champions League Pick

Even with Bayern under-manned, it's hard to envision them losing at home to an Arsenal team that's struggling to find any kind of consistency.

In 13 league matches inside Allianz Arena this season, the Bavarians have won 10 times, drawn twice and lost just once, while scoring 39 goals and allowing nine. They've gone undefeated in the Champions League so far at home, with an overall goal differential of nine (in three matches).

We do believe Arsenal will make a decent account of themselves after getting outclassed in almost every way during the first leg. However, how can you bet against Bayern at home with the way they've been playing?

Soccer Pick: Bayern Munich 2 Arsenal 1

Aggregate: Bayern Munich 5 Arsenal 2
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