Gunners not sitting back in Munich

Striker Olivier Giroud, who has six goals in six games, can be relied on to trouble Bayern Munich's defence. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says it is not in the club's DNA to defend for 90 minutes.
Striker Olivier Giroud, who has six goals in six games, can be relied on to trouble Bayern Munich's defence. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says it is not in the club's DNA to defend for 90 minutes.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

BERLIN • Confident Arsenal travel to Bayern Munich today hoping to tame the German champions for a second time in two weeks, and are promising to attack despite a string of injuries.

The English football club are on a high after a fifth consecutive Premier League win at the weekend - a 3-0 victory at Swansea - and the timing of their visit to the Bavarian capital could hardly be better.

Bayern dropped their first points this term in the Bundesliga on Friday with a goalless stalemate at Eintracht Frankfurt.

It followed 10 consecutive victories from the start of the season and, coupled with their 0-2 loss at the Emirates Stadium on Oct 20 - their first defeat in all competitions - Bayern have shed some of that invincible aura.

Arsenal's victory over Bayern put Arsene Wenger's side back in contention in Group F with three points. Bayern and Olympiakos have six.

"They (Bayern) will be angry," said Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker. "We are the first team who really challenged them and beat them. They will be on the ball and try to show that they are back and better than us."

Arsenal are missing key players, including Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere.

But, with Olivier Giroud having scored six goals in his past six games and playmaker Mesut Oezil delivering nine assists in 10 league games, they are not prepared to sit back and defend.

"I would sign today to take a point," said coach Arsene Wenger.

"But to sit off Bayern, with their offensive quality, would be difficult to maintain for 90 minutes. We have to relieve the pressure whenever we can and try to score goals.

"That is our structure of the team, to attack.

"If you get our players to defend, then I do not think we will be so efficient. We have to play every time we can."

Bayern, who last season won all six home games in the competition en route to the semi-finals, are by no means in a slump.

Their dominance and string of chances against defensive Eintracht were indicative of the team's attacking instincts.

They will have Arjen Robben fit for his first Champions League game of the season after the Dutchman was injured in September.

But they will be without Mario Goetze while Juan Bernat and Holger Badstuber are doubtful.

"We will show Arsenal on Wednesday the real Bayern," said Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal.

"Our confidence is high and this time we will use our chances and get the three points."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'Gunners not sitting back in Munich'. Print Edition | Subscribe