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Munich primed for 'a very, very tough match'

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Munich primed for 'a very, very tough match'

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:10 pm

London, a city of eight million, a melting pot of cultures and languages bequeathed by the British Commonwealth, and one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities. It is also the heart of English football, as six London-based clubs currently play in the national top flight. One of the biggest, north London giants Arsenal, host Bayern in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Tuesday evening (Live in English from 8.45 pm CET on free Web Radio)

"We can expect a very, very tough match," said Uli Hoeneß prior to take-off from Munich on Monday morning. On this occasion, the FCB President heads a large Bayern delegation, who landed on schedule at London Heathrow Airport at 1 pm local time. "Arsenal are exceptional at home. We'll have to work very hard for a decent result," Hoeneß continued.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge supplied the definition of 'a decent result': "We go to London with two targets: First, to avoid defeat, and second, it would be good to score. That would put us in a good position for the return." However, the FCB chairman added, "We can take nothing for granted. The Champions League only gets going for real once you reach the knockout stages! You can't afford even moments of weakness, you have to be totally focused right from the start."

Arsenal currently lie a reasonable fifth in the English Premier League but were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday by second-tier Blackburn Rovers, That shock would make the Gunners even more dangerous, insisted Rummenigge: "I wasn't happy about that. I know from my own experience that you're incredibly angry, and that can release reserves of energy." The chairman advised an attitude of "great respect" in Tuesday's encounter.

Gunners 'in the top ten'

"Arsenal have just lost a match, but that makes the situation even more tricky," noted Bastian Schweinsteiger, describing the Gunners as "one of the ten best teams in Europe. It'll be very hard work." Jupp Heynckes echoed the midfielder's sentiments. "Let me expressly warn against underestimating them," the FCB head coach intoned at the final pre-match press conference on Monday afternoon in the ballroom of the central London team hotel.

There is no doubt that Bayern are confident after a run of five wins in five matches since the winter break with 13 goals scored and none conceded. Heynckes is certain his men have what it takes to emerge from the clash at Emirates Stadium as winners. "But for that, we'll need an absolutely top-class performance," declared the coach, "we'll need the same determination and passion we've been showing in the league." FCB should be close to full strength, as Javi Martínez is fit to play after shaking off a toe injury. The only definite absentees are Claudio Pizarro (angina), Holger Badstuber (cruciate) and Jérôme Boateng (suspended).

Beware of Wenger

"Arsenal are a good attacking team and very dangerous," remarked Philipp Lahm, "we'll have to be on our guard." Heynckes praised the Gunners as "a team who play very good attacking football and can be very dangerous." Rummenigge feels wily Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger "will certainly have something up his sleeve." The Frenchman from Alsace, who boasts a perfect command of German, is "one of the top ten coaches in Europe."

Opponents who are riled and have a point to prove, a stellar forward line, and one of the great strategists issuing instructions form the dugout - Bayern are well aware of the size of the challenge in front of a sell-out 60,000 crowd at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. "We'll have to throw everything we have at it if we're to come through," said Schweinsteiger. London's Wembley Stadium - the landmark steel arch soaring over the state-of-the-art arena was just about visible from the team bus on the way in from the airport - is the venue for the Champions League final in May, but no-one in the Munich camp is concerned about that at present. "We're not thinking about it yet," stated Rummenigge. For the time being, the focus is completely on Arsenal.
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Re: Munich primed for 'a very, very tough match'

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:21 pm

FCBayernNews wrote:Beware of Wenger

Haha this heading coupled with Wenger's interest in underage players is great :lol:
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