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Arsenal build-up

Lahm: We’re raring to go

Football fans have been deprived of the Champions League for some two months now, but Bayern commence their knockout stage campaign on Wednesday with the mouth-watering clash away to Arsenal. “It’s good that it gets going again now,” stated captain Philipp Lahm, who joined Jérôme Boateng for Monday’s regular news conference prior to training. The men from Munich are looking forward to the Round of 16 first leg clash confidently but with plenty of respect.

“We won’t be playing for a goalless draw. Obviously, we want to win in London,“ declared Lahm, although he recalled last season’s second leg in Munich, where Arsenal demonstrated their attacking capabilities and showed what they can do if allowed to get going. “It won’t be easy. Their confidence will be soaring after they beat Liverpool at the weekend.”

Rummenigge demands ‘obsession’

Boateng warned that Arsenal are now “much stronger” than last season: “Mesut Özil is their key figure now,” noted the Germany international. The minute the match at the Emirates Stadium gets underway, “we’ll have to be wide awake because their fans will roar them on.” However, Boateng shares his captain’s optimism: “We have to go out there and show we’re superior. We don’t want to be chasing a result in the return.“

The London club lie a close second in the Premier League at the moment and are definitely a different proposition compared to last term, agreed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “They’ve invested heavily in the transfer market. The quality in the team has moved up another level,” commented the Bayern chairman. “The quality and obsession from last year will be decisive,” Rummenigge continued, “but if we show it we’ll have a good chance of making the quarter-finals.“