ARSENAL’S hopes of pulling off the seemingly impossible feat of overturning a 3-1 deficit in their Champions League last 16 encounter with Bayern Munich tomorrow have receded further after it emerged midfielder Jack Wilshere is struggling to overcome an ankle strain.
No team has ever lost a Champions League first leg tie at home by more than one goal and successfully progressed to the next round. But with Bayern, second-favourites with the bookmakers to go all the way to Wembley and lift the trophy in May, suffering a selection headache of their own Arsenal’s task at the Allianz Arena was looking slightly easier.
Forward Franck Ribery suffered an ankle injury in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Dusseldorf – Bayern’s 11th successive victory.
Meanwhile, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Jerome Boateng are suspended, plus former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben has missed Bayern’s last two Bundesliga matches with a calf injury and remains doubtful for the tie.
But with England midfielder Wilshere, who missed the entire 2011-12 season with a knee injury, struggling to prove his fitness, the Gunners chances of reaching the quarter-finals look all the more improbable.
However, striker Olivier Giroud is refusing to give up on Arsenal’s chances of defying history and shocking the Bavarian giants.
“In football you never know,” he said. “ We need to score an early goal. We need to believe and stay focused, but we need to correct our bad defensive behaviour as well.
“I like to play against German teams because they are attacking all the time. There I get myself more possibilities to score. It will be an interesting game, for sure.”