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Arsenal skipper Per Mertesacker is a part of the club squad that has traveled to Germany ahead of the first leg of Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. However it will be a massive surprise if the World cup winner gets to play a part in the match proper. The odds of Arsenal winning the match is very small and starting Mertesacker ahead of our first choice cenret backs can only make the situation even worst. Punts can check out 0ddsdigger for more betting odds for this match.
The German centre-back has recently returned from a long-term injury, which he suffered in pre-season and is yet to feature for the Gunners this season. And nor have we really missed him as the duo of Mustafi and Koscielny have been solid in the centre of defense so far and when Mustafi was absent, Gabriel Paulista have shown himself to be a reliable cover for the former Valencia centre back.
Mertesacker, 32-year-old, who has recently signed a one-year contract extension, did feature among the substitutes in the FA Cup win against Southampton last month.
His inclusion has certainly come as a surprise as Wenger already has three centre-backs in Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel who are currently ahead of Mertesacker in the pecking order.
Meanwhile, striker Lucas Perez has not traveled to the squad as he is currently recovering from a hamstring injury. The Spaniard scored a hat-trick for the Gunners in the win at Basel during the group stage. His absent will surely be a big blow to the team but with Welbeck back to the squad and in the traveling team to Germany, Wenger has a reliable cover.
Midfielder Granit Xhaka will be back in contention after serving a four-game domestic ban for the red card he received in the league win over Swansea.