Bayern Munich may sound daunting but fear shouldn't be the first reflex for Arsenal

The German side are getting used to a new manager

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

Arsene Wenger. Picture by Nick Potts EMPICS Sport

For the first time since the 2011-12 season, Arsenal contrived to finish top of their Champions League group and yet still ended up with a daunting last-16 draw on paper.

Bayern Munich, who they will face next spring, are the side who knocked them out at the last-16 in the 2012-13 season and the 2013-14 campaign, as well as beating them to top of their group last season.  

And lest we forget, the Germans have not failed to advance to at least as far as the semi-finals since 2011-12, although Pep Guardiola was unable to guide them into the final during his time in charge.

This season, they also have a multiple Champions League-winning manager in charge in the shape of Carlo Ancelotti.

Plus, there is outstanding talent in every sector of the squad from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender Jerome Boateng, captain Philippe Lahm, the raumdeuter Thomas Muller and prolific star striker Robert Lewandowski - a scorer of 19 goals in 22 matches this season.

And that's without mentioning the likes of David Alaba, Mats Hummels, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Arturo Vidal and many others.

However, while Bayern Munich have returned to the top of a Bundesliga that they have dominated since 2012-13, this season has not been plain sailing.

Transitioning from the Guardiola era to the less intense Ancelotti was always going to see a few teething problems, notwithstanding the fact that the Italian is more of a knockout competition kingpin than a league stalwart.

After 14 matches, they are level on points at the top with newly promoted RB Leipzig and lost a recent head-to-head with an inconsistent Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern still remain the class of the field domestically but that should be the minimum expectation given the financial and quality advantage they hold over the rest.

The Champions League also saw them stutter - hence the fact that they are even playing Arsenal because they failed to top their group.

They did lose 1-0 to table toppers Atletico Madrid away but responded in kind in the final group game.

However, what truly cost the Bavarians was the 3-2 loss at Russian side FC Rostov. That slip cost them top spot.

Form of course is temporary and class is permanent which means Bayern could well be back to their very dangerous best by the time spring rolls round.

And Arsenal's current good form still has to stand the test of a hectic winter period.

The Gunners will go into the game as underdogs but fear shouldn't be a factor however, given the slight uncertainty around Bayern at present.

Arsenal themselves have improved and shown a greater level of grit and determination in the Premier League and Europe, exemplified by the improvement of Theo Walcott, the signing of Shkodran Mustafi and the positional change of Alexis Sanchez.

In comparison to the draws that Leicester and Manchester City ended up with by facing extremely opposition like Sevilla and Monaco respectively, Arsenal's draw isn't exponentially more daunting.