Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that his clubs Premiership campaign this season has given them the confidence to believe that they can beat Bayern in Wednesdays much anticipated first-leg Champions League last-16 match at the Emirates.
Arsenal is currently just one point behind Chelsea at the top of the table and through to the last-eight of the FA Cup as they look for their first silverware in eight years.
Last season it was the eventual Champions League winners Bayern Munich that knocked Arsenal out of the competition and despite a 0-2 win in Munich the 3-1 loss at home is what cost the Gunners so dearly, and Wenger is determined not to repeat what happened last season.
In his pre-match interview Wenger told Sky Sports: “We have a strong team spirit, a strong desire to do well and a united team. Belief is built by results and on that front, we are stronger of course,” he said.
“Last year, we went out on the away goal, so that shows it’s important not to concede at home. Our home form will be vitally important in this tie.
“But I think we are in much better mental shape than we were a year ago. We lost against Blackburn at home in the FA Cup and that was a big disappointment for us, but this year we won against Liverpool and we are really determined to win this game tomorrow.
“Since the start of the season, we have done well and it’s now down to us how well from game-to-game we can show the same spirit and focus we showed against Liverpool.
“Every minute counts in a game of that stature and we are conscious of that and we will try to start very strong.”
Wenger rested Tomas Rosicky for the match against Liverpool last Sunday and he will now take the place of the suspended Mikel Arteta in Wenger’s squad.
“We know that we face the favourite of the competition, but we have belief, because we’ve had only big games,” added the Gunners boss.
“Since the start of the season, we know that in every game we have to be absolutely 100 per cent. We believe we can do it but it’s down to the quality of the performance.
“With the quality of players on the pitch on both sides, it’s nearly impossible to play without style. They will produce a quality game.”
Wenger also played down both his and Bayern Munich trainer Pep Guardiola’s influence saying: “If you look at the history of the Champions League, you will see that it’s always the big players that make the difference.
“The main heroes are on the pitch, not on the bench.”