When the Bayern stars stepped in front of the fan curve once again as German football champions after the arduous league win against Cologne without Kingsley Coman, who was transported away injured, loud shouts of “European Cup” echoed in their direction.

The end of the eleven-year championship era? Doesn’t matter! In Munich, after the 2-0 (0-0) win against 1. FC Cologne, no one talked much about the impending dethronement as series champions after eleven titles in a row by the new dominator Bayer Leverkusen in the everyday business of the Bundesliga.

Rather, it all just revolves around one thing: Wednesday, 9 p.m., Champions League, quarter-final second leg against Arsenal FC. The biggest club title of all is still there. And no one is better suited as a seismograph for big football evenings and special Bayern moments than the two-time Champions League winner Thomas Müller, who is looking forward to his 150th appearance in Europe’s premier class against Arsenal.

Müller: “Hey, this is about something very important”

“When we stood in front of the fan curve, you could see the energy of the boys and girls. They’re really looking forward to Wednesday. Just like us! Then you realized, hey, this is about something very important,” he said 34 year old with shining eyes.

And Thomas Müller wouldn’t be Thomas Müller if, as a clever football expert, he couldn’t identify the opponent’s possible attack area after the encouraging 2-2 draw in the first leg in London at the latest. “The Arsenal team is very good. But they are not as experienced in European Cups as Real Madrid or Manchester City, both from the coaching side and the players,” said Müller in the Allianz Arena when comparing the Gunners, led by 42-year-old Mikel Arteta with the possible semi-final opponents.

“Catch the Allianz Arena moment” against Arsenal

And that’s why Müller’s Arsenal script goes like this: “If we get that Allianz Arena moment on Wednesday…” That’s exactly when you have to be there, said Müller: “We’re ready, I think.” Even if things looked different in several moments of the game during the tough interlude against Cologne with Raphael Guerreiro’s dream goal and Müller’s 2-0 win in stoppage time.

But that excused coach Thomas Tuchel, who had to watch the game from a stadium box due to a yellow card suspension. “Between two important games, it’s sometimes not easy to concentrate at the highest level. That was also characteristic of the game,” said Tuchel. Bayern too often finished without concentration at the front. And at the back they allowed Cologne several chances to score. The bottom line is that Bayern secured three important points for participation in the Champions League.

Coman bad luck increases debate about muscle injuries

When reviewing the game, however, the focus was on the blatant series of injuries this season – and their influence on the Arsenal game. More than 20 muscle injuries have already been reported. After Serge Gnabry in London, offensive colleague Kingsley Coman suffered a torn muscle bundle in his thigh just four days later. The 27-year-old Frenchman will also be out for weeks and of course also for the game against Arsenal.

Tuchel spoke of a “big downer”. As an observer of the accident scene from close range, Müller “felt pain himself”. Everyone in the club, coaching team, bosses, doctors and physiotherapists have long been alarmed, even if Tuchel sees no pattern of injuries. Too much training? Too little training? Is it the lawn? “We’re discussing it internally as to why it could be. It’s not a good situation,” said sports director Christoph Freund.

Neuer and Sané are probably ready to go

Tuchel is in demand as a problem solver, even against Arsenal. “You want to have alternatives, a good bench. Maybe we have to play 120 minutes,” he mused. “Serge and King would have been good for us,” says Müller, who should now slide into the starting eleven. Freund at least had the good news ready that captain Manuel Neuer, who was rested against Cologne as a precautionary measure due to a risk of adductor muscle damage, and probably also the speed dribbler Leroy Sané, who played so well in London, can play again despite pubic bone problems.

Tuchel also has to be right at the back. Who will keep Arsenal’s whirlwind Bukayo Saka in check? Alphonso Davies is suspended after being booked in the first leg. Tuchel tested Noussair Mazraoui as left full-back against Cologne, who is right-footed but knows the position from Morocco’s national team. Mazraoui’s lack of match practice was clearly noticeable.

The alternative would be left-footed Guerreiro, who played in midfield against Cologne and excelled offensively, especially with his artificial shot to make it 1-0. Mazraoui is “a bit stronger defensively than Rapha,” noted Tuchel. He still has until Wednesday.