Guardiola points out quality in Arsenal

Both teams coming off impressive wins but German side holds a 2-0 advantage at home in Uefa Champions League last-16 second-leg match in Munich.

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, left, speaks to defender Dante on Monday during the final team training before they meet Arsenal in a Uefa Champions League last-16 second-leg match Tuesday night in Munich. Christof Stache / AFP
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MUNICH // Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola intends to prepare his free-scoring side to face an Arsenal team ready to bring their own best form to the Allianz Arena.

The Germans warmed up for the second leg of the last-16 Uefa Champions League tie, in which they hold a 2-0 advantage, with a 6-1 triumph at Wolfsburg to move 20 points clear at the top of the German Bundesliga standings.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be looking to take confidence from Saturday's 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton, and Guardiola is all too aware of the threat the English team can pose when firing on all cylinders.

“The quality is there,” said the former Barcelona coach, acknowledging the impressive 2-0 win for Arsene Wenger’s men in Bavaria last season, which saw them go out on away goals only.

“When I analyse Arsenal and the first game, we saw the quality of [Santi] Cazorla, we saw what happened until the penalty [Mesut] Ozil missed, what happened in the first nine minutes they were the nine minutes in this season when the opponent was better against us. They remain a good club, a good team

“If you play in a really good team like Arsenal and are 2-0 down, anything is possible.

“People think ‘2-0 you don’t have a chance in Munich’, but that’s the main problem for us. They have [Per] Mertesacker, [Tomas] Rosicky, [Kieran] Gibbs, [Mikel] Arteta – a lot of very good players.

“I do not want to see Ozil control the game. That will be a big problem for us. This is not an easy game. We have to attack, give our best, be aggressive without the ball.”

The penalty save by Manuel Neuer from his Germany teammate Ozil seemed to suck the life out of the Emirates Stadium home support, with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny soon sent off before second-half goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller put the Bundesliga side in control of the tie.

Ozil was given some time away after picking up a dead leg, but returned to form when he scored the first goal in the win over Everton and had a hand in two more.

Guardiola feels the German playmaker can continue to grow in his new environment following a £42.5 million (Dh259.7m) switch from Real Madrid on deadline day in September.

“I never played in England, or trained a team, so I don’t know how difficult it is, but I can imagine how difficult it is for Ozil to play every three games in November, December, January,” Guardiola said. “But this is one game, it is a final, Arsenal know that, Ozil knows that. For one game, the player puts in everything.

“From my experience, I expect the performance from the opponents. Ozil will give the best performance and we have to be prepared.”

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