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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 9 August, 2020

Guardiola predicts a 'fight' with Arsenal at the Emirates

The Spaniard brings his all-conquering Bayern Munich side to London for tonight’s Champions League meeting with the Gunners.

Guardiola at yesterday's pre-match press conference.
Guardiola at yesterday's pre-match press conference.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

BAYERN MUNICH GO into their Champions League last-16 tie against Arsenal in London tonight full of confidence following their victory over the Gunners at the same stage last year.

Holders Bayern were utterly dominant in a 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium, and although Arsenal went on to salvage pride with a 2-0 win in Munich in the return leg, it was not enough to prevent them going out of the competition in the round of 16 for the third consecutive season.

Bayern’s domestic dominance shows no sign of slowing, with Saturday’s 4-0 win over Freiburg coming despite Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Thiago and Mario Goetze being rested.

Their Bundesliga winning streak is 13 matches and victory extended their unbeaten run to 46. Their only loss in this season’s Champions League group stage came at home to Manchester City, with qualification already assured.

Despite the comprehensive nature of last season’s victory in London, where early goals by Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller put the visitors 2-0 up after only 21 minutes, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola remained wary of Arsenal.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - Arsenal v Bayern Munich - Arsenal Training Session - London Colney The Arsenal players training yesterday. Source: John Walton

“They are going to fight because Arsenal is not a new team to play this competition,” said the Spaniard.

Always every year they are there, always every year they qualify for the finals so I am pretty sure that (Jack) Wilshere and their team-mates are going to play tomorrow to win the game, I am pretty sure about that.”

Guardiola warned his team that Arsenal have the players to punish any mistake. The German champions will be without France winger Franck Ribery, who is suffering with a buttock injury, and his potential replacement Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored twice against Freiburg, is also out with a thigh strain.

The return leg in Germany will be played on March 11.

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