Arsenal travel to the Britannia Stadium today aiming to add three much-needed points to their title assault.
However, the North London club’s record against the Potters has been relatively mediocre in recent years – with one of the hosts’ players more motivated than usual to spoil the Gunners’ chances of victory.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has revealed that he is a lifelong Bayern Munich fan, and wants to knock Arsenal’s confidence with victory today before the Londoners head to Bavaria for the second leg of their Champions League tie.
“If we could soften Arsenal up, that would be great,” the Bosnian stopper is quoted as saying in the Daily Express.
“I couldn’t get to the game at the Emirates but I went last year when Bayern won 3-1. They were unbelievable.”
Begovic went on to explain his passion for the Allianz Arena outfit and admitted that he was cheering on the Germans against Manchester City over the last two seasons.
“I’ve seen Bayern at Manchester City for the past couple of years,” he said.
“Yes, I pay for my ticket. I was in with the City fans. I couldn’t sit with the Bayern fans. I mean Bayern fans are nuts, they just sell out of tickets so fast.
“I think I got spotted, a couple of guys took pictures. I keep quiet. If have to sit in the Arsenal end it doesn’t mean I have to cheer for Arsenal. I just keep my head down and cheer for Bayern – quietly – inside.
“My brother’s a fan as well so it’s in the family. They live in Germany. He was there at the game with Freiberg the weekend before.
“He’s 14 but not a season ticket holder because he has games weekends himself, he wants to be a professional goalkeeper as well.”
Arsenal have an FA Cup tie to play next weekend before heading to Germany for their Champions League clash with Bayern.
The Gunners have the improbable task of overturning a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.
image: © ronnie macdonald