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Bayern star says Arsenal are far better this year, still surprised over Ozil

Spanish international midfielder Javi Martinez believes Arsenal have improved since last season.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s much-anticipated Champions League tie, Javi Martinez has spoken kindly of the Gunners.

Going into Wednesday’s clash, many Bayern players have come out in support of the Gunners amid journalists and fans alike brushing off Arsenal’s chance of progression. It would be entirely surprising if that is the work of Pep Guardiola – a footballing guru, yet humble and refreshingly respectful.

The 25-year-old midfielder formed a dominant partnership alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger during Bayern’s incredible trophy-laden 2013, and was a part of the side which comfortably won at the Emirates at the same stage last season.

Arsenal however find themselves better equipped this time around. Coming off the back of a 2-1 home victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup, the Gunners will be full of confidence.

It’s a far cry from where Arsene Wenger and his men found themselves this time last year, as their Premier League title-aspirations were non-existent and they had already been embarrassingly knocked out of both domestic cups by lower-league opposition.

Javi Martinez puts the difference down to confidence, and the impact £42.4m record signing Mesut Ozil has had on the club, saying:

"This game is different to last year. Arsenal is never easy but they are a better team this time.”

"They made us suffer in Munich last year and we know how important it is to score in London. If we can do that, then we believe we can go through.”

“But they have better players, a confidence and Mesut Ozil is a decisive player for any club. I am still surprised Real Madrid let him go."

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © henrikalexandersen

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