Wenger convinced Arsenal can achieve 'big win' against Bayern

The Gunners boss has expressed his faith in his current squad of players and believes they are capable of pulling off a massive upset victory over the German giants

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is certain his team can pull off a surprise victory against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The Gunners face a stiff challenge to defeat the runaway Bundesliga leaders, and even more so to secure a passage into the quarter-finals, following their resounding 3-1 defeat in the first leg in north London.

Indeed, Wenger’s side must score at least three goals to overturn the first-leg deficit, one more than Bayern have conceded at home all season.

But despite his side’s inconsistent recent form, the Frenchman believes his side can pull off a shock result in Bavaria.

“I am convinced that if this team can find a big game, with a big win, you will see a completely different animal,” he told reporters.

“This season we have fought to find that in the big games and we have another opportunity tomorrow night and I hope the team takes this chance.

“I have a great respect for this team and its attitude and they have not been rewarded yet. It is important for the end to our season that we do it tomorrow.”

The challenge facing the Gunners has been made all the more difficult by the absence of key players Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski, who are both suffering with ankle injuries.

First-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny will also not feature against Jupp Heynckes men on Wednesday night, after Wenger suggested the Pole’s exertions in recent weeks have left him in need of a rest.

“He has played many games since the start of the season and recently I felt that mentally it affected him, that is why I have decided to rest him,” the Frenchman added.

“[He has been affected] by the number of games he has played. It is his second season only in the Premier League and he has played many games.

“I am always confident before the game that the guy who plays is ready. The players who start our games have no excuse of not being fit or ready. If I decide to play them it is because they are ready.”

Podolski out and Szczesny rested for Arsenal clash with Bayern Munich

The forward has failed to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in the club’s north London derby defeat to Spurs on March 3 and will miss the return leg against his former club

Lukas Podolski has been ruled out of Arsenal’s Champions League last-16 clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening, while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been rested for the tie.

The 27-year-old forward sustained an ankle injury during Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham on March 3 and has failed to recover in time to face his former club.

Jack Wilshere has already been confirmed as an absentee for the match against the Bundesliga leaders after failing to recover from an ankle injury, while Goal.com revealed on Tuesday morning that the Gunners are concerned that the midfielder’s problem could be long term.

Arsene Wenger has also included Lukasz Fabianski, Abou Diaby, Andrey Arshavin and Kieran Gibbs to his 18-man squad for Wednesday night’s fixture.

Arsenal suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in their last-16 first-leg clash at the Emirates on February 19.

Arsenal tie not over yet as they will try 'everything', says Heynckes

The boss of the Bundesliga leaders says his side will have to be at the top of their game as their opponents have the ability to overturn their two-goal deficit

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes does not think his team’s Champions League tie with Arsenal is over as has great respect for Arsene Wenger and is convinced they will try “everything” to get themselves back in it.

Die Roten won the first leg 3-1 at the Emirates with goals from Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic, but Heynckes insists the Gunners have the ability to turn it around if his side are not at their best and alluded to their near-incredible comeback against AC Milan at San Siro last year.

“We played excellent in the first leg. I know by experience you have to give 100 per cent all the time in this competition,” he told reporters.

“This is the Champions League, and Arsenal are not just any club. I know and respect [Arsene] Wenger. And I know Arsenal will try everything.

“Arsenal lost 4-0 to Milan in the first leg and won the return leg 3-0. Based on chances it should have ended 4-0.”

Bayern will be without Frank Ribery, who picked up an injury in the weekend’s win over Dusseldorf as Heynckes does not want to take any unnecessary risks with the star Frenchman.

He added: “Right after the game on Saturday, I knew he most likely would not play. He stretched ligaments.

“It is not a major injury. He should return to training on Thursday and we will take from there. We will not risk anything.”

They will also have Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng missing through suspension, although the coach believes his squad can cope with their absence.  

Heynckes said: “With Luiz Gustavo, Javi Martinez and Toni Kroos we have three very different players that match well.”

'It is not mission impossible' – Wenger still hopeful for Arsenal ahead of Bayern showdown

The Gunners must score at least three goals at the Allianz Arena against the in-form Bundesliga giants to stand any chance of progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists that it is not impossible for his side to advance in the Champions League over Bayern Munich.

The Gunners travel to the Allianz Arena trailing 3-1 from the home leg knowing that no team have ever overturned a two-goal deficit in the competition, let alone the three away goals that the Bavarians can boast.

Bayern have conceded twice on just two occasions this season and go into the game on the back of 11 straight wins in all competitions but Wenger is refusing to concede the tie just yet despite the added injury-induced absences of Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Lukas Podolski.

“It is not mission impossible,” the Gunners boss told the club’s official website. “It can be done but first of all you need 100 per cent commitment, attitude and things to go your way. But usually football goes your way when you have the right attitude.

“There is a kind of feeling of ‘let’s really play with freedom’. Let’s start strong. We have to create doubt in their mind and you only do that if you have a real go.

“The chance you have is to make insecure the certainty Bayern have at the moment. That you can only do if you perform at your best. We can’t think that the game lasts 30 minutes and throw everything forward from the first minute on. We want to be positive but also intelligent.”

Arsenal have not played since losing the north London derby 2-1 against Tottenham on March 3 – which further dampened their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League –  but Wenger believes that the team are adequately prepared and the break aided the players.

“We have practised a lot and prepared for this game,” he continued. “It came out of a very stressful period. Mentally it was good to have a little breather and refresh. And on the other side, on the football front, we could mix up recovery and preparation.”

'Only masochists enjoy playing against Barcelona' – Muller

The versatile attacker believes that any ambitious team would welcome an early Champions League exit for the Catalan giants

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller hopes that Barcelona fail to overcome their 2-0 first-leg defeat in the return of their Champions League round-of-16 tie against AC Milan on Tuesday.

The Germany international feels the Primera Division leaders are one of his side’s main rivals for European glory, and would not mind seeing them eliminated from the competition before the quarter-final stage.

“There is not a single team in the world who enjoy playing against Barcelona, except perhaps a few masochists,” he was quoted as saying by TZ.

“Any team who have the ambition to win the Champions League would not mind if one of the top favourites crashes out at this stage of the competition.”

Barca have reached the semi-final stage every year since 2006-07.