Muller: Arsenal are under enormous pressure

The Gunners have to produce against Bayern Munich after losing their first two Champions League games to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos


Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller says Arsenal should consider themselves under “enormous pressure” ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger’s side are bottom of Group F after shock defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos and must aim for a positive result against the 2013 European champions to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout rounds alive.

Muller says the pressure is firmly on the home side after Bayern won their opening two games but denied any suggestion that the Bundesliga leaders can expect a comfortable win.

“Arsenal are under enormous pressure ahead of the game but you can’t talk about a clear favourite. It’s certainly a game I’m looking forward to,” he said.

“We won the last two games here, and I scored in both games. Tomorrow I will go on the pitch and remember good memories of playing here. We’re all excited, but it’ll be no walk in the park!

“Both teams play an attacking game. In the end I hope it’s a good game, but a better one for us.”

Midfielder Xabi Alonso expressed shock at Arsenal’s Champions League form and described “great respect” for manager Arsene Wenger.

“Of course we’re a bit surprised, but even though they have zero points, they’re still a good team. We’re well prepared,” said the former Real Madrid man.

“Winning the Champions League is one of our big aims, but [the final in] Milan is still far away and we have to take it step by step.

“Wenger is very important for the club, he’s been an important footballing personality. I have great respect for him.”

Wenger has already stressed his side will hold no fear of Robert Lewandowski, despite the Poland international having scored 22 goals in just 16 games so far this season in a remarkable run of personal form.

While he has praised his efforts in front of goal, Alonso says he values Lewandowksi’s defensive work for Pep Guardiola’s side just as highly.

“He’s in incredible form, he’s a great team player who also helps out at the back. That’s important for a midfielder. He’s certainly one of our key players,” he said.
 

Wenger: We’ve beaten better Bayern Munich teams before

The French boss says his side can take heart from their 2-0 win at the Allianz Arena in the 2012-13 season, when the Germans won the treble, but refused to reveal their weaknesses


GOAL By Greg Stobart


Arsene Wenger insists his Arsenal side do not fear Bayern Munich ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League meeting, despite the Bavarians having won every game they have played this season.

Pep Guardiola’s men have streaked clear in the Bundesliga title race, picking up maximum points after nine games, and also top their Champions League group after consecutive wins.

Arsenal’s own place in the competition is at risk after back-to-back defeats against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos, with victory desperately needed against Bayern, and Wenger believes his side can take heart from previous wins over the German champions.

“We could be suspected of not taking the first two Champions League games seriously enough, but that won’t be a problem against Bayern,” Wenger told reporters. “We know we are playing against a top side. Tomorrow everyone will be highly focused.

“We are [confident]. We’ve played great Bayern teams before, at least as good as the one we play tomorrow, and beaten them. The team that won the treble, with [Franck] Ribery at full power, [Arjen] Robben at full power, [Toni] Kroos and [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, [Thomas] Muller.

“There is no team without weaknesses. If you asked me to come out with them now, I wouldn’t do it. But there are no teams without weaknesses.

“We want to defend well, attack well and score the first goal. That is massively important in big games. You can’t say you will score three goals in 20 minutes [as against Manchester United] because that is absolutely crazy.”

Petr Cech will start in goal for the Gunners, with David Ospina carrying an injury, but Wenger has no plans to rest star players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

“You would be surprised if I told you that I’ll rest them tomorrow. Unless I have a very bad sleepless night, maybe, and got it wrong. But normally they play,” he continued.

“These kind of medical predictions are beyond everybody. Even with the most sophisticated equipment doctors cannot predict the impact on the body. But they have no specific problems so I don’t see why they should be [rested].”

Robben: No problem with Wenger calling me a diver

The Netherlands international will miss the Champions League clash at the Emirates but has praised the Gunners boss and is surprised to see them struggling in Europe

Arjen Robben says he has no problem with Arsene Wenger calling him a diver and warned Bayern Munich that Arsenal “can beat any team” ahead of their Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger’s side have suffered a dismal start to their European campaign losing their opening two games to Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb leaving them bottom of Group F without a point.

In stark contrast, Bayern are in daunting form having a perfect record in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League so far this season, but Robben says they must be careful at the Emirates.

“I think they have got enough quality,” he told the Telegraph. “I thought last season they did very well. They won prizes; the FA Cup and the Community Shield.

“They looked very stable and this year they look very strong. I was really surprised to see them lose two Champions League games but, on their good day, I think they can beat any team and we have to be aware.”

Robben, who will miss the game in London due to a groin injury, also praised Arsene Wenger as “unique” despite the Frenchman calling him “a very big diver” the last time the two sides met.

“I met him in Brazil,” says Robben. “It was not a problem at all. No hard feelings. I’m quite easy that way.”

“If they lose, some managers are disappointed and not always fair and realistic.

“Maybe one week after, they say: ‘OK, maybe it was wrong what I said.’ But I haven’t got a problem. I think he’s unique.

“To be there for such a long time you are doing a lot of things very, very well. See the players who became better [under his charge].

“Look at the way Arsenal has developed. In Holland or Germany, they always talk positively about Arsenal. Why? The way they play, no negative football, always positive technical football, wanting to make the game.

“I think that is big credit to him.”

Wenger vows Arsenal will attack Bayern

Pep Guardiola’s side have won 12 matches in a row in all competitions yet the Arsenal manager insists that his men will look to play the Bavarian giants at their own game


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has vowed to take the game to Bayern Munich when the Bundesliga giants visit the Emirates Stadium in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Bayern have made a fine start in Group F, winning both of their matches, while the Gunners have fallen to shock defeats at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos.

With back-to-back games against 2013 winners Bayern to come, Arsenal need an immediate upturn in fortunes if they are to avoid crashing out in the group stages of the competition for the first time since 1998-99.

Despite the daunting task of facing a Bayern side who have won 12 in a row in all competitions, Wenger is buoyed by his own team’s recent good form.

“We’re on a perfect run in the Premier League, and on the other hand it was perfect preparation for Bayern because we had no injuries and got the three points,” Wenger said following the 3-0 win at Watford at the weekend.

“We are now in a position where we can really focus and give it everything on Tuesday night. I will have to see how we prepare for this game now and how we want to approach it.

“The confidence is there, the required result is there and we know exactly what is needed. Even a 0-0 draw is not good enough, so to score goals we will have to attack.

“If you can arrange for us to be 3-0 in 20 minutes, like we were against Manchester United, I will put you in charge for Tuesday night.

“That would be ideal, but it is difficult to plan [that] – we did not plan to be 3-0 [up] after 20 minutes against United.

“What we want to do is to play up to our level because that is what is needed against a big team.

“It is true that we have won before in Europe when everyone else thought it was not possible, but we want to do it again because we felt the pain was inflicted by ourselves.

“Maybe, subconsciously, we thought, ‘Anyway, we will win these’ [against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos] – now, to correct it, we need a great performance.”

Coman fit to face Arsenal

The forward missed the win over Werder Bremen but now looks set to feature, while Arjen Robben remains sidelined for the Bavarians


Bayern Munich have been boosted by the return to fitness of Kingsley Coman ahead of their Champions League clash at Arsenal.

The winger missed Saturday’s 1-0 win over Werder Bremen with a sprain, but is available for Tuesday’s Group F meeting with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Coman was part of the Bayern squad that set off for London on Sunday, although Arjen Robben remains sidelined with an adductor injury.

“Arjen Robben is close to a comeback but is not yet match fit,” read a post on Bayern’s official website.

Bayern sit top of the group having won both of their games so far, while Arsenal are without a point following surprises defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos.