x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

‘Confident we can produce a stunning result’ says Wenger ahead of Bayern rematch

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal 'have to go out there and go for it' in staring at a 2-0 deficit as they travel to Bayern Munich for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal will need to score at least twice and beat Bayern Munich away by two to have a chance of moving on in the Champions League. David Jones / EPA
Arsene Wenger and Arsenal will need to score at least twice and beat Bayern Munich away by two to have a chance of moving on in the Champions League. David Jones / EPA

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping for deja vu when they face Bayern Munich away in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16, second-leg clash.

Wenger’s side go to Munich’s Allianz Arena needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg at the Emirates Stadium three weeks ago.

Arsenal bowed out of Europe to the same opponents at the same stage last season, but not before enjoying a shock 2-0 win in Munich’s after losing 3-1 at home to Bayern.

The Bavarian giants only went through on away goals before going on to win the Wembley final and Wenger said it’s all about belief again for his side in Bavaria.

“We have to go out there and go for it,” said Wenger.

“I am confident we can produce a stunning result.

“It is down to scoring the first goal. After that, anything is possible.

“This time last year we went there and won 2-0, so we can take confidence from that.

“It is never over in this game. We will go there with belief that we can do it.”

Arsenal enjoyed a confidence-boosting 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton on Saturday and Wenger said attitude will be the key if his side are to reach the last eight in Europe.

“It is difficult statistically, but in football we have seen worse things,” said the Frenchman.

“What is important is that we are in good shape mentally.”

Arsenal find themselves seven points behind Chelsea in the Premier League table, albeit with a game in hand, and have been guilty of erratic form recently.

In 14 matches since the start of 2014, they have won nine, drawn two and lost three, including a humiliating 5-1 league defeat at Liverpool on February 8.

Wenger has a few injury concerns with Laurent Koscielny doubtful after missing the victory over Everton due to a hamstring injury sustained on international duty with France.

Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and Kim Kallstrom (back) are not likely to return until next weekend’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Buoyant Bayern have no such worries and welcomed back France winger Franck Ribery, Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri and Germany’s Thomas Mueller in Saturday’s 6-1 rout of Wolfsburg.

All three got on the scoresheet while Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic came off the bench to hit the net twice as Bayern scored five goals in 17 second-half minutes.

Having become the first side to win the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles last season, Bayern are again sending records tumbling.

The Wolfsburg win was Bayern’s 16th Bundesliga victory in a row, bettering their own league record of 15 straight wins in 2005, and left them 20 points clear in the league table.

They also extended their record unbeaten league run to 49 matches, equalling Arsenal’s Premier League record of 49 games without defeat set in 2004 and Juventus’s marker in 2011-2012.

Only AC Milan’s record of 58 unbeaten Serie A matches, set between 1991-1993, is a better mark in Europe’s top leagues.

Bayern have only dropped four points with 22 wins in 24 league games, but Manchester City showed Arsenal the way with a shock 3-2 win in last December’s group stage game in Munich.

Despite their Wolves romp, Bayern boss Pep Guardiola has said his team can ill afford to allow Arsenal the same first-half chances which Wolfsburg enjoyed.

“If we give Arsenal too much possession, we will have big, big problems,” warned Guardiola, who rested Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in Wolfsburg.

“If we keep the ball, we’ll get into the quarter-finals, if they control it, Arsenal will go through.”

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