Arsenal play Bayern Munich in Shanghai on Wednesday in the third of their pre-season friendlies.
With Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League this season, the two clubs were clearly concerned about missing out on their annual ‘coincidental’ matchup in Europe, and took matters into their own hands organising a friendly to get the game out of the way early.
Normally here we’d do a section on the head-to-head between the two sides, but honestly if you’re an Arsenal fan who doesn’t already know how the last few matches went, you probably don’t want to know.
Let’s just say a draw on Wednesday wouldn’t be the worst result.
Donyell Malen missed out on Arsenal’s friendly against Western Sydney Wanderers after picking up a knock against Sydney FC. He’s now back in full training, and should therefore be available for selection.
Fortunately, there aren’t any other tour injuries to update you on at this stage. The main talking point on social media is about whether Özil and Lacazette will get given a chance to play together at the third time of asking, but as yet there has been no update on this.
Most likely Arsène will start a stronger side at first given the higher calibre of opposition and the extra day of rest between Bayern and Chelsea compared to the Sydney matches.
The scarcity of centre-backs at the moment may mean Kolašinac will be used as one, leaving Bramall as an option on the left. But given it might be a bit of a baptism of fire starting him against Bayern a few days after his debut, here’s a predicted starting XI:
(3-4-2-1): Čech; Monreal, Mertesacker, Koscielny; Kolašinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Lacazette, Özil; Giroud
If you’re reading this hoping we’re going to tell you that Bayern are on a rubbish run and are waiting to be beaten, it’s probably best to stop here. The Bundesliga club have won all four of their friendlies so far, scoring 16 goals.
This is a particularly impressive total considering their last two matches were part of a mini-competition where they only played 45 minutes per game. So averaging just over five goals-per-90 minutes, it’s a good thing Arsenal have never struggled to keep Bayern out.
Serge Gnabry won’t be returning to face his former side, as he’s already gone off on loan to Hoffenheim. Manuel Neuer and Arturo Vidal are also absentees after their international exploits.
New signings James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso will be available, though, so potentially we could see Tolisso and Lacazette face up against each other for the first time since they both left Lyon earlier in the summer. The full squad available is given in the tweet below:
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) July 17, 2017
How To Watch
The match kicks off at 12:20pm on Wednesday 19th July.
Unlike the Sydney matches, this match has not been announced as being streamed on Arsenal Player.
If you live in the UK, the TV channel showing it is Premier Sports, which requires a paid subscription. For all other countries, see the list below from LiveOnSat.com: