Bayern Munich defender Daniel Van Buyten has warned his fellow team-mates that Arsenal are one of the top teams in Europe and he is not expecting an easy clash.
The two sides are ready to duke it out in Tuesday’s Champions League knockout clash and the Bundesliga table-toppers are looking like a massive mountain to climb for the inconsistent Gunners.
However Van Buyten is aware of the attacking threats the North London side possess, and the 35-year-old believes his side will have to dig deep and work hard in all areas of the pitch if they want to progress to the next round.
The Belgian international told Bayern’s official website:
I can feel the excitement already, but I think that’s the case for every player.
Champions League football is just so special, especially when you play an English club. We’re all really looking forward to it.
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Arsenal are one of the best teams in Europe. They have huge attacking potential, excellent individuals and they’re a very good team unit. But we have plenty of quality, and we intend to show it. It’ll be a great game.
Arsenal are obviously quality. But even against teams lacking Arsenal’s big name players, it’s always difficult for the defence and the whole team; in Wolfsburg for example, or in Mainz.
It might look easy, but a huge amount of work goes into it – lots of training, lots of communication. All the players put a huge amount into it, even when we don’t have the ball.
I’m really looking forward to seeing [Vermaelen] and Poldi. I spoke to Thomas about the game a couple of weeks ago when we were on national team duty, but we’ve not been in touch in the build-up to the match itself.
Despite Bayern’s exceptional domestic form that have seen them stretch out a 12 point lead in the Bundesliga and concede only seven goals this season, they have had mixed results in one of the ‘easier’ Champions League pools.
Arsenal can draw inspiration from the 2006 UCL win over Real Madrid in Spain where they managed to edge a team littered with Galacticos 1-0 or the memorable 2011 victory over Barcelona that may have resulted in progression if it wasn’t for the awful referring in the second leg.
At the end of the day this Arsenal side has the ability to pip Bayern but they must be up for it and give 110%. Like Van Buyten said, the Gunners have huge attacking potential…But it will be the defence that must be on their game to prevent any away goals.