Arsène Wenger

Bayern are favourites – but I fancy our chances of knocking them out

Arsene Wenger

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Arsene Wenger

Arsenal play Bayern Munich in the Champions League for the second time in two years. What do you remember from last year’s games?

There are one or two regrets. At first, we lost at home 3-1, and then won 2-0 in Munich. We were only out because of one away goal. I think the away goals rule should be removed in modern football; it has too much weight in the qualification.

Then, there is regret too because we weren’t at our usual level during the first match. We had just lost in the cup, we were a bit down.

The second game, we were 5-10 minutes short of qualifying, because Bayern only started to really panic when we were leading 2-0.

Can you beat them this time?

We have a good chance of revenge against a Bayern side that won everything over the last year. And their aura, their state of mind will certainly be stronger than when we played last year. We, to make up for that, are doing well and still want our revenge. So it will be interesting.

Bayern are the favourites by far, because I think that they are by far the favourites for the whole tournament too. But I think that we still have a good chance.

What is your opinion on Bayern so far this year? With Pep Guardiola as their manager, what changes have you seen?

The changes are those of a team which won everything and must constantly add new ways and means to their victories.

There is some pressure on you when you have won everything. The first year you have to win everything. The second year you have to win everything, and always be brilliant. And that’s the pressure they have today.

They have to produce classy football all the time, and that’s what they do most of the time. But there is more pressure on them to be all the time brilliant and creative. And Guardiola has done this successfully most of the time.

They also have recruited more players. They recruited Goetze, who is not an ordinary player. And I think that they are close to last year’s team, because Robben and Ribery are often the ones making the difference; they are still here, and they still are in good shape.

But they might be missing Schweinsteiger a bit. They replaced him with Thiago Alcantara, who is also a great player. So they still have a team, I’d say with the same basis, but more potential.

On your side, you now have Ozil, and your team is doing quite well. Does this make you more confident?

He gives us a higher creative potential, and he is also used in important confrontations. And he is on the upswing.

I think that we, too, are a similar team to the one we were last year. We have some skills, we are used to playing together, and with an unknown element in Ozil. He has the ability to make a difference or provide an assist at any time.

As it was quite tight last year, would you bet on Arsenal?

If you bet on Bayern, you won’t win a lot of money. If you bet on us and we win, you won’t be disappointed by the return. As I told you at the start, Bayern are the favourites. But I personally think that we have a chance.

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