Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal can have a good crack at Bayern Munich in February, and feels they can prove they have come along way since last season.
The Gunners drew arguably the best European side in their Last 16 Champions League fixture, creating a repeat of last campaign’s first knockout round.
The Arsenal boss feels his side can go “one goal better” after their disappointing exit last time round despite a valiant display fightback at the Allianz Arena.
There were many positives from that night as it essentially turned a new leaf of belief for the Gunners, and they have gone from strength to strength this season, leading the Premier League table by two points – something Wenger wants to prove in their two-legged ties in the New Year.
The Frenchman told Arsenal.com:
It is the same draw as last year and we have a good challenge.
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We have to be one goal better this time instead of being one goal worse and I believe it’s an interesting challenge because we have an opportunity to show we have learned from it. We have all to win and nothing to lose. We can show that we have moved forward since last season.
Both side have seen some changes since the last time they met. The Gunners have strengthened with Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Flamini the most successful transfers of the summer, while the likes of Koscielny, Mertesacker, Ramsey and Giroud have found their best form in an Arsenal shirt since their UCL exit last season.
Bayern Munich have brushed off any suggestions of a transitional period under a new manager, with Pep Guardiola immediately having an impact, while he brought in two highly rated playmakers in Mario Goetze and Thiago Alcantara over the summer.
Wenger acknowledges the two sides will certainly be different to last time they locked horns, but is confident his side’s offensive potential will provide an interesting game for all involved.
The Frenchman added:
We are different and they are different. How much different are they? I don’t know but they look to play a bit more adventurously and more going forward, and we do as well I must say.
We certainly have more offensive potential with [Mesut] Ozil coming in and we have to find our defensive security back which we have lost over the weekend, but it will be a very interesting challenge.
Bayern’s stars are certainly not pleased with drawing the Gunners, they will not be taking us lightly especially after their home defeat last season.
Arsenal suffered heavily at the hands of City, however they gave a lot in midweek against Napoli and were unlucky to have to travel for back to back away games in such a short space of time.
The Gunners can give Guardiola’s side a real run for their money come February, I for one am excited for the tie. We’ve shown our attacking capabilities, and have managed to beat and keep a clean sheet against the likes of Dortmund and Napoli this season in the UCL. There’s no reason we cannot get two results against the reigning champions if we’re on our game.
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