Champions League: Bayern and Dortmund a big threat

Jupp Heynckes would retire happy if Bayern won in Europe

With the spotlight on Bayern Munich's Champions League trip to Arsenal, Christian Crowther assesses the Bundesliga's runaway leaders and the other German representatives...

"Jupp Heynckes' side arrive at the Emirates off the back of six straight wins, a run in which they've not conceded a single goal, while banging in 15 of their own."


Having effectively made off with the German title already this season, Arsenal's Champions League opponents Bayern Munich have understandably cemented their fearsome reputation among the very best clubs in Europe at present.

In fact, many observers would place the five-time winners as second only to the mighty Barcelona in the continent's current pecking order, a notion backed up by two final appearances in the last three seasons.

This widely accepted appraisal of Bayern is very much reflected in the current Champions League winners market, where the Bavarians are installed as joint-second favourites, available at 7.06/1 alongside Real Madrid.

Make no bones about it, Arsenal will have to apply themselves at a level far higher than anything which they have managed so far this season if they are to keep themselves in the tie before heading back to the Allianz Arena in three weeks' time.

Whereas the Gunners have consistently come up short this season, as they did in exiting the FA Cup with a whimper to Blackburn on Saturday, Bayern's form leading into this game could not be more imperious.

Jupp Heynckes' side arrive at the Emirates off the back of six straight wins, a run in which they've not conceded a single goal, while banging in 15 of their own. In each of those games, they have fired in at least two goals, including a 4-0 humbling of Schalke just two matches ago. 

Bayern are rated at around 2.111/10 to carry on that impressive scoring ratio by notching two or more goals when they visit London on Tuesday night.

This blend of defensive steeliness and deadly finishing makes Bayern prime candidates to qualify from this tie - priced at 1.271/4 - and a really strong bet to go one better than last year by lifting the trophy.

Of course, Bayern are not alone in terms of German representation in the last 16, with Borussia Dortmund and Schalke still in the hunt too. And this really is symptomatic of the strength of the Bundesliga and the national game at present.

While Schalke clearly represent the outsiders in the trio given their disastrous winter form, Dortmund, who are in a promising position after securing a 2-2 draw with Shakhtar, are available at 9.617/2 for glory.

Despite falling behind Bayern in the league, Dortmund have shown their quality by topping a group containing both Real Madrid and Manchester City and remaining unbeaten in the process.

Under their impressive young coach Jurgen Klopp, Dortmund represent a real force in this year's competition and, if they can avoid their counterparts Bayern, the possibility of an all-German final is very real. 

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