'Biggest challenge yet' - German press on Arsenal ahead of Bayern tie

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Ahead of Arsenal's fixture with Bayern Munich, we took a look at what the press in Germany were saying about the Gunners.

Here's a cross section of the views on the big match from German newspapers and websites... 

BILD: "For Bayern, it is the first real challenge of the year. For Arsenal a great opportunity for revenge: The London club have the three German internationals Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, who face the the seemingly all-powerful triple-winner at the last sixteen.

"Özil has recently come under fire after a strong start in England. Team manager Arsene Wenger has defended publicly the national team player. In the duel with many of his colleagues of the DFB Özil wants to bring back his best performance."

RP-Online: "The 13-time English champions are now very much on the German map. Besides Mertesacker, Ozil and Podolski's talents Serge Gnabry, Thomas Eisfeld and Gedion Zelalem belong to the squad. Great is the desire for an international title, not since the 1994 European Cup Winners Cup for Arsenal, Bayern are seen as probably the worst possible fate.

Focus.de: "In time for the explosive reunion with the FC Bayern in the Champions League, Lukas Podolski is back in goalscoring form .During his Arsenal's 2-1 win on Sunday in the FA Cup against Liverpool striker scored one goal and made ‚Äč‚Äčthus for a successful first part of the revenge mission in London."

Abendzeitung-Muenchen: "Players from Arsenal themselves a fighting spirit before the match against FC Bayern Munich and their chance for revenge for the Champions League from last season. Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski look forward to the duel with Bayern Munich and their colleagues from the German national football team with confidence. Unlike last year, the professionals of Arsenal FC smell a potential knockout ahead of the first leg in the Champions League on Wednesday."

Analysis: What is clear is that the whole of Germany respects the Gunners. Not only because of their established German internationals, but because they showed what they can do by beating Bayern on home turf last season. It's a respect for Arsene Wenger's side which is likely to carry through to the entire Bayern side when they take to the pitch at The Emirates.

There is also a real sense of respect that this is a better, and far more confident team that the one they played 12 months ago. Last year Bayern seized on Arsenal's poor form, having just lost to Blackburn in the FA Cup. It's why winning to steady the ship against Liverpool was so important especially with two Premier League games without a win, for Arsenal to play at their potential.

A far better Arsenal team are a serious test for a Bayern side which is 16 points at the top of the Bundesliga, who have been cruising in recent weeks. They have either made the German top flight look very weak, or they are an incredible team; the result of these two matches will determine which statement is closest to the truth. They know they will have to up their own game to beat the Gunners, and that focus will make Arsenal's job tougher.

image: © tjuel

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