Created on 18-02-2013 at 00:00 AM
Some two-and-a-half months after the final group match against BATE Borisov last autumn, Bayern return to Champions League action on Tuesday evening in the first leg of the last 16 away to English Premier league outfit Arsenal, where coach Jupp Heynckes’ men are seeking to “put ourselves in a good position for the second leg," according to captain Philipp Lahm. The sides meet again in the decisive second match at the Allianz Arena on March 13.
The FCB party set off to the English capital on Monday morning, arriving at their central London hotel on schedule at 2 pm local time. Manuel Neuer and Bastian Schweinsteiger started taking press questions at around 2.30, with Jupp Heynckes due at the official pre-match press conference after the players. fcbayern.de reports.
The clash at the Emirates Stadium includes a reunion with former Bayern striker Lukas Podolski. “I'm looking forward to meeting up with him," said FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, “but I'm hoping he doesn't score against us. He should think it over very carefully."
Rummenigge took press questions at Munich airport prior to take-off. The chairman issued a warning not to underestimate the Gunners in the light of their shock FA Cup exit at home to second-tier Blackburn Rovers. Arsene Wenger's men will be determined to make amends for a below-par performance, the former world-class striker said.
Earlier in the day, the squad gathered at the Säbener Strasse headquarters and training facility before boarding the team bus for the short transfer to the airport. The squad for the trip comprises 19 players, with the only definite absentees being Holger Badstuber (sports rehab after cruciate ligament surgery), Claudio Pizarro (angina) and junior pros Emre Can, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Lukas Raeder. Jerome Boateng is suspended for the tie after his dismissal against the Belarus champions and has also remained in Munich.