Arsenal travel to Bayern Munich knowing they face an awfully tough task and, although I hope I'm wrong, I can't see them turning things around.
I said before the first leg of their last 16 tie with the German giants that the players owed their manager a performance after the defeat to Blackburn in the FA Cup and they didn't come up with one. They lost 3-1 and were outplayed by last season's Champions League runners-up.
Now Arsenal's players don't just need a performance for their manager, they need a performance for their pride.
They're 3-1 down after a tough night at the Emirates and I expect they'll be in for another tough night on Wednesday. (See it live from 7pm, Wed, Sky Sports 2 HD)
Bayern, in the first game, were brilliant; they zipped the ball around and everyone was on song while Arsenal could only chase, chase and chase. They were blown away by the visitors.
I don't think Arsenal have enough about them to win on the night, let alone turn the tie around.
Quotes of the week
I've not seen anything since which makes me think the game in Munich will be any different and I don't think Arsenal have enough about them to win on the night, let alone turn the tie around.
They'll be hoping to keep Munich quiet and pinch the first goal to give themselves hope. But it's a huge ask.
PREDICTION: Bayern to win and progress
This week's other Champions League games
Barcelona (0) v (2) AC Milan
AC Milan produced a really polished performance to pull of the surprise result of the first leg matches. They frustrated Barcelona, prevented them from getting an away goal and scored two vital goals of their own, which gives them a cushion going to the Nou Camp.
Barcelona are a team who have looked patchy recently. I was at the Copa del Rey semi-final in Barcelona and saw Real Madrid absolutely out-play them; they looked a pale shadow of their former selves.
Yes, Lionel Messi is still scoring goals and there are a lot of positives in their team and I'm sure they'll produce a huge effort to pull this back. But the reality is Barcelona have to score three goals - and against an Italian team that is never easy.
Milan will employ the classic Italian tactic of sitting and waiting, soaking up the pressure before trying to strike on the break. And if AC Milan do get a goal then it makes life really difficult for the hosts.
Of all the teams to hold onto a lead, the Milan teams - whether it's Inter under Jose Mourinho in the Champions League final or AC Milan - are well equipped.
It's going to be a huge challenge for Barcelona, it really is. And, scoring three past an Italian rear guard action is going to be very hard to do.
When I was at the Nou Camp for that semi-final I got the impression they were a team not at their highest point. I can see them winning the tie but scoring three is going to be difficult so I would look at Milan coming away with a hard fought, defensive success to go through.
PREDICTION: Barca to win, Milan to go through
Schalke (1) v (1) Galatasaray
Live: 7pm, Tue, Sky Sports 2 HD
Schalke got a very important goal in Turkey when they were behind and that changed this tie. It's 1-1 on aggregate at the moment but it isn't 50-50 at this point. That away goal swung the tie in the German teams favour.
If you look at Schalke's league form you wouldn't be too excited about their chances but something tells me this tie is tailor made for them to go out and put on the performance they need to go through.
Galatasaray will give it everything. I've seen them a couple of times in the Champions League this year and they have the ability to go out and get goals and attack - but it's a difficult tie for them, especially after not winning on their home turf. To beat Schalke in Germany is a much more difficult task.
German football is on the up and Schalke want to be a part of that.
PREDICTION: Schalke win and go through.
Malaga (0) v (1) Porto
Live: 7.30pm, Wed, Sky Sports 4 HD
This, for me, is one of the most intriguing second legs of the last 16 phase.
Malaga have been the surprise package of this year's Champions League and have equipped themselves well so far - and this is not a foregone conclusion by any means, despite Porto's first leg advantage.
You'd expect the experience Porto have from being at this stage of the competition many times in recent years to see them through when it gets to the crunch - but you never know. Malaga - who have to be applauded for getting this far - belied most people's thoughts by staying well in the game with the first leg.
Unfortunately for them I reckon, despite a heroic effort from the hosts, they may just not have enough to go through.
PREDICTION: Porto go through
Post to your View!
Be the first to post a comment on this story