It’s the question that the top teams across Europe are asking themselves – how can anybody stop Bayern Munich?
The German giant is absolutely flying – it has won all nine of its Bundesliga games, scoring 29 goals in the process.
Bayern is already seven points clear of nearest challenge Borussia Dortmund and has won both of its games in this season’s Champions League.
On Tuesday, it plays Arsenal in London with the English club needing to win in order to remain in the competition.
So, can Arsenal do what no other team has done so far this season and stop Bayern?
What’s the deal with Bayern?
Bayern has started this season in irrepressible fashion.
Hamburg, Dortmund and Wolfsburg have all been hit for five goals, while fellow Champions League qualifier, Bayer Leverkusen, was beaten 3-0.
One of the main reasons for Bayern’s blistering start to the season has been its Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.
The forward, who scored five goals in nine minutes during the 5-1 win over Wolfsburg, has scored 12 league goals this season – and 15 in his past seven games in all competitions.
In his 22 appearances for club and country this season he has netted 22 goals – including the strike which sent Poland through to next year’s European Championship finals.
He has only failed to score on four occasions so far this season.
So if you stop Lewandowski, you can stop Bayern, right?
Well, not quite. You see, there’s another guy called Thomas Muller.
Muller, whose wife, Lisa, is an aspiring show jumper as you can read about here, has been cantering up the goalscoring charts in recent weeks.
The Germany international scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen at the weekend to take his tally to nine in the league this season.
If Arsenal do manage to keep Muller and Lewandowski quiet then they’ll still have to deal Bayern’s other stars.
Arturo Vidal, the man who led Chile to Copa America glory, joined from Juventus at the end of last season and is one of the best midfielders in the game.
Then there’s Philipp Lahm, a World Cup winner with Germany, who keeps things ticking over along with Spanish duo Xabi Alonso and Thiago Alcantara in midfield.
Jerome Boateng is a rock in defense and if you do get through on goal – well, there’s Manuel Neuer, arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, standing between you and the back of the net.
So what are they saying?
Arsene Wenger told reporters Monday that his team’s defeats in the opening two games of the competition could have been down to complacency.
But he’s still confident his players will get themselves out of trouble when they face Bayern.
“We maybe could be a little suspected of not taking the first two games seriously enough but this time that is not the threat,” he told a news conference.
“Let’s take the positives of our Premier League [form] and as well get the right focus that you get when you play a big opponent.
“We have some ground to make up in Europe as we have not been at our requested level in our first two games.
“Our focus has been much stronger in the Premier League than it has been in Europe and we know in this game the focus needs to be exactly the same than in the in Premier League.”
Lahm, the Bayern captain, says his team will not allow Arsenal’s poor start to the Champions League to distract it.
“They’re a good team with good individuals, and they’re showing their true colors in the league,” Lahm told the club’s official website.
“But they’re under severe pressure in the Champions League. They need a result against us, but we’re prepared for that.
“Arsenal are always dangerous because they have real quality and very good, dynamic players in their ranks. And like us, they like to have the ball.”
Is there any hope for Arsenal?
Well, it’s funny you should ask that because if there’s one team which knows how to qualify from the Champions League group stage, it’s Arsenal.
The club has qualified for the knockout phase in each of the past 15 seasons – but defeat will more or less end its dreams of glory after just three games.
Arsenal was knocked out of the competition by the German giant in 2013 and 2014 after losing the home legs on both occasions.
It won in Munich in the second leg two years ago but exited on away goals after a 2-0 win meant Bayern progressed with the tie level at 3-3.
Arsenal has been on a good run of form in the Premier League and has scored 11 goals in its past three games.
It thrashed Leicester CIty 5-2 and defeated Manchester United 3-0 with all the goals coming inside the opening 20 minutes.
On Saturday it won 3-0 at Watford to move up to second in the table.
Who can hurt Bayern?
Arsenal will be looking towards their Chilean magician Alexis Sanchez to lead the charge.
Sanchez, who has scored six league goals in his last three games, is on form after a slow start to the season.
The 26-year-old is one of the top players in the Premier League and has become a sensation with his pace, strength and eye for the spectacular.
Santi Cazorla, the central midfielder, has been in impressive form, while Mesut Ozil, the German World Cup winner, is another man Arsenal will hope can find a way past a miserly Bayern backline.
The German team have yet to concede in this year’s competition and has scored eight goals in its opening two fixtures.
Wenger must decide whether to go with Theo Walcott in attack once again as he did against Watford or restore Olivier Giroud, the Frenchman, to the starting line up.
So can Arsenal do it?
After losing to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos in its opening two group games, few are giving Arsenal a chance against a rampant Bayern.
But Arsenal’s league form has been encouraging in recent weeks – with Sanchez and Ozil particularly impressive at the weekend.
The return of goalkeeper Petr Cech, who missed the 3-2 defeat by Olympiakos, will give Arsenal an added boost.
Only nine teams have ever progressed to the knockout phase of the competition after losing its first two group games.
So there you go Arsenal – it really is win or bust. Stop Bayern and keep the dream alive or become yet another mere statistic in Bayern’s seemingly inevitable path to glory.