Arsene Wenger admits that Arsenal are underdogs going into tonight’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich, but says his team have the quality to get a result.
“We are the underdogs – you just need to read the English press to understand that,” he said.
“We have pressure because we want to do well and we want to win. I believe that whether you are favourites or underdogs, what counts is to play well, make a good pass when you have the ball and defend well when you don’t have the ball. All the rest, in our job, you have to take a distance from it.
“What is important is that when you play to win a competition, at some stage you have to play a big team. If I listen to your questions, we are not favourites but I trust our quality, our spirit and our mental strength.”
Bayern are hot favourites because of their league form this season. They top the Bundesliga by 15 points and have only conceded 7 goals, but Arsenal’s home record in the first knock-out round of the Champions League is equally impressive:
2012 – Arsenal 3-0 Milan
2011 – Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona
2010 – Arsenal 5-0 Porto
2009 – Arsenal 1-0 Roma
2008 – Arsenal 0-0 Milan
And Wenger is hoping the vagaries of football are on our side in the Champions League. “If I say to you we will win it this season you will laugh at me because we just lost against Blackburn. But it can happen – football is not predictable.”