By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arjen Robben has not travelled with the Bayern Munich squad that faces Arsenal in Tuesday’s Champions League showdown.
The Dutch winger had targeted the Emirates Stadium match for his comeback from injury but is not yet fit to return and has been left behind in Germany.
Robben’s absence is a boost for Arsenal ahead of a match which they must win to gain a foothold in their Champions League group following defeats in their opening two fixtures against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos.
“For Robben this trip is too soon,” Bayern revealed in a statement after they left Bavaria on Sunday evening to avoid travelling through London’s Monday traffic.
Fellow winger Kingsley Coman, was included in the squad after sitting out Saturday’s 1-0 win over Werder Bremen following an injury he picked up while playing for France Under-21s during the international break.
Bayern have begun the season in sensational form, setting a Bundesliga record by winning their first nine League matches as well as three out of three in other competitions.
Bayern explained why they have taken the unusual step of travelling to the match 48 hours in advance.
Manager Pep Guardiola said: “Due to the traffic situation in London, a trip from the Säbener Strasse to our hotel would take five to six hours. That would be a lot of time in buses and the plane on the day before the match.”
Skipper Philipp Lahm added: “There’s a lot of travelling time in London so we’re flying in two days before the game. We always prepare very professionally.”