Arsenal v Bayern Munich:Who will come out on top: the Professor or the Philosopher? Photograph: Getty Images
Arsène Wenger insists that his Arsenal side are full of confidence heading into their clash with Bayern Munich
Arsène Wenger insists his Arsenal side are brimming with confidence ahead of their Champions League last-16 showdown against Bayern Munich.
The Gunners were knocked out at the same stage of the competition by the Bundesliga side last season, as the visitors sealed a crushing 3-1 first-leg win at Emirates Stadium last season.
We believe we can do it, but that’s down to the quality of our performanceBut Wenger, whose side are second in the Premier League and through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, is confident that the north Londoners have improved significantly over the last 12 months.
“We know we face the competition favourites, but what we have is the belief because we’ve had big games in the Champions League and in the FA Cup,” said Wenger.
“We played against Tottenham and against Liverpool, so since the start of the season we know that in every single game we have to be 100 per cent.
“We believe we can do it, but that’s down to the quality of our performance. We have a strong team spirit, that is for sure.
“We have a strong desire to do well and a united team. We always have these qualities, but perhaps we do not always have the belief – belief is built by results and on that front we are strong, of course.
“Are Bayern the best team in the world? At the moment you can’t say the opposite – they win every game. They won the [Club] World Cup and the Champions League. You can only say ‘yes’.
Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Pre-match facts• Arsenal’s last success at this stage came in 2010 when they recovered from a 2-1 defeat at Porto to win 5-0 in London. That was their third successive victory in the round of 16.
• This is Bayern’s sixth successive last-16 appearance with their 2011 reverse against FC Internazionale Milano their sole defeat in that run.
• This is Bayern’s fourth visit to England in 12 months and they have been successful on their three previous trips, including victory against Dortmund in May’s final at Wembley.
• Lukas Podolski played for Bayern from 2006 until 2009, scoring 15 goals in 71 league games. Either side of that spell he spent a total of six years with Cologne and in 10 games against Bayern was only once on the winning side.