If Bayern Munich aren't the best team in the world, they are the second best. That isn't good news for reeling Arsenal, who host FCB in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday.
The Gunners are coming off of a FA Cup loss to Blackburn that has them on their way to another trophy-less season and are still out of the Champions League places in the Premier League. They also failed to win their group, which is why they have Bayern waiting for them in this round. There isn't a lot to get excited about at the Emirates right now.
The one positive for Arsenal right now is their fitness. Kieran Gibbs is out with a calf injury, but Thomas Vermaelen, Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin all got past injuries to play over the weekend and Laurent Koscielny looks a good bet to return from injury, too. The Gunners biggest problem heading into Tuesday's clash with Bayern might be the absence of Nacho Monreal, who they bought in January knowing he was cup-tied. That will force Vermaelen out wide, a decent enough option against Fulham, but hardly Arsene Wenger's first chice against Bayern.
Bayern are relatively fit themselves, with Holger Badstuber the only major injury. That absence is magnified by the suspension of Jerome Boateng, though, leaving the back line shaky with Daniel Van Buyten likely forced into action.
Even with their issues at the back, Bayern are heavy favorites in this tie. A year ago, Bayern went to the final, but that team had holes. This year's team doesn't, thanks to the signings of Dante, Mario Mandzukic and Javi Martinez, which leaves them as the superior team to almost anyone in the world, Arsenal included.
Match date/time: Tuesday, February 19; 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
TV: Fox Soccer Channel (USA English), Fox Deportes (USA Spanish), ITV (UK), Sportsnet Regional (Canada), Sky Go (Germany)
Streaming: Fox Soccer 2 Go (USA)