Measurements of Andromeda's blue shift let us conclude that the distance between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way is decreasing and in a few billion years they will "collide".
The blue shift only yields the radial component of Andromeda's velocity vector. It is my understanding that measuring the tangential component is crucial in determining whether a "collision" will actually happen (in a gravitationally bound two body system, for point-like bodies to collide, the relative velocity component must point exactly towards the other body, i.e. the tangential component must vanish).
Now, galaxies are not point-like, so some small nonzero tangential component might lead to a collision where at least some galaxy arms intersect.
Has the tangential velocity been measured? If so, how? How central is the collision (bulge into bulge, bulge into arms, arms into arms)?