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Arsenal update

Gunners hope for ‘massive boost’ in Munich

Bayern are preoccupied for now with Fortuna Düsseldorf, but Arsenal are already into preparations for next week’s trip to Munich. It is FA Cup time in England, and FCB’s Champions League Round of 16 opponents are already out of the knockout cup competition. With no weekend match, boss Arsene Wenger has begun readying his men for the Allianz Arena clash.

“The break is good for us at this time,” commented Per Mertesacker in the wake of the Gunners’ disappointing 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday in the 174th North London derby. Arsenal have lost three of their last four matches, “so we have to pick ourselves up,” said keeper Wojciech Szczesny, "we have a lot of time to prepare for that game [in Munich], and if we manage to get a good result and hopefully qualify for the next round, that would be a massive boost to have a good run in the Champions League."

Arsenal prepare to fight

In the Premier League, Arsenal are now struggling in the chase for one of the four Champions League qualifying spots, as they are five points off fourth-placed Chelsea, and seven behind Tottenham in third. “I can’t tell you that I feel great right now,” said Wenger, voicing concern over possible mental fragility among his players. “You never know how they’ll absorb these blows and how the team responds to disappointment,” the Frenchman remarked.

The Arsenal manager called on his men to “fight” in every one of their ten remaining Premier League fixtures. That also applies to the return meeting with Bayern, which the Gunners start at a daunting 3-1 down. “Of course there is potential, but we have to show that on the pitch," urged Mertesacker. The Bayern camp is still taking nothing for granted, as Daniel van Buyten noted: “They’re coming to us with nothing to lose.”