To attack or not to attack? That is the question for Arsenal in the run-up to their Champions League trip to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
The Gunners’ European adventures have been about as predictable as West Ham this season.
Defeats to Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb left Arsene Wenger’s side facing the very real prospect of a Champions League group-stage exit for the first time since 2003.
German giants Bayern Munich had the opportunity to push them closer to the edge last month but Arsenal came out fighting and goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil got them off the mark in Group F.
They are not out of the woods yet, however, as defeat at the Allianz Arena this week would throw them right back in the mire.
“Perhaps they will play even more defensively as in the away game,” said Manuel Neuer, whose howler allowed Giroud to break the deadlock at the Emirates Stadium.
However, that is not how Gunners defender Gabriel sees things panning out in Munich.
“We need to attack because we need the result,” he said. “But we need to attack with intelligence and make sure we don’t suffer a defeat and complicate our situation for the rest of our competition.
Everything is possible in football. We know the difficulties we are going to find. Bayern are an excellent team playing at home with the fans on their side, so it will be a big challenge.
“If we are as determined as we have been over the last few years, I believe that we can go there and get a great result.”
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Jose Mourinho’s crisis-hit Chelsea host Dynamo Kiev in Group G, seeking their first win since the opening round of the competition.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have found form in Europe, winning their last two as they aim to reach a first ever Champions League quarter-final.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have won two on the trot in Europe and will look to make it three away at Spanish side Sevilla on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Manchester United complete the quartet of Premier League sides in action, hosting CSKA Moscow and knowing victory will see them take an important step towards the next round.
In Group H, Zenit St Petersburg – managed by former Chelsea and Tottenham chief Andre Villas-Boas – will put the competition’s only 100 per cent record to the test when they visit Lyon.
Real Madrid and Paris St Germain go head-to-head in Group A in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash.
And reigning champions Barcelona can place one foot in the knockout stages with victory over BATE Borisov at the Nou Camp in Group E.
Lionel Messi will miss the game through injury but Barcelona’s Belarussian visitors still have Luis Suarez and Neymar to pin down.
The in-form duo have stepped up to the plate in Messi’s absence, scoring all of the Catalans’ last 14 league goals between them – seven each – and could well cash in again on Wednesday.