LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Defending champions Bayern Munich will battle with Arsenal in the Champions League last 16 tie at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
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Bayern Munich are the favourites to win the entire competition, with Arsenal just another team standing in the German side’s way.
The Gunners know how dangerous the visitor will be, but they are not just going to sit around and let them have their own way.
“Bayern were very strong last year, they achieved everything, they got the treble and were very sharp and almost the perfect team,” center-back Per Mertesacker said on Arsenal.com.
“But with Pep Guardiola in charge, they look even sharper. They look to get even more possession, which is nearly impossible but he has put something in, that Barca style.
“I think they have improved this season on what they are doing so it will be a really tough one and demands a lot from our side – mainly defensively.
“Can we cope with that possession, can we cope with their qualities? They don’t just have 11 players, they have nearly two teams who can compete on a Champions League level, so they are the toughest opponent you can get in Europe.
“We know their players quite well so that will be interesting for us. We know each other but we need to think about our team shape and how we can destroy their possession.”
Midfielder Mikel Arteta is out suspended and has been replaced in the matchday squad by Tomas Rosicky, while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will return in goal for Lukasz Fabianski.
Arsene Wenger is also set to recall the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Olivier Giroud (tired), who were rested against Liverpool in the FA Cup win.