"We have a strong desire and are a united team," Arsène Wenger said in outlining why Arsenal FC are equipped to avenge last year's first-leg loss to FC Bayern München.
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Twelve months after his side lost 3-1 at home to FC Bayern München in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 opener, Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal FC are in "much better mental shape" to tackle the holders when they renew acquaintances at the same stage. The Gunners manager says the Londoners possess the requisite team spirit and desire to overcome an all-conquering Bayern squad who, in the words of Josep Guardiola, are looking forward to a "good test" of their tournament credentials.
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
We are in a much better mental shape today than we were one year ago because we lost against Blackburn at home in the FA Cup. It was a big disappointment for us, but this time we defeated Liverpool and we are really determined to win this game.
We know we face the competition favourites, but what we have is the belief because we've had big games in the Champions League and in the FA Cup. We played against Tottenham and against Liverpool, so since the start of the season we know that in every single game we have to be 100%.
We believe we can do it, but that's down to the quality of our performance. We have a strong team spirit, that is for sure. We have a strong desire to do well and a united team. We always have these qualities, but perhaps we do not always have the belief – belief is built by results and on that front we are strong, of course.
Are Bayern the best team in the world? At the moment you can't say the opposite – they win every game. They won the [FIFA Club] World Cup and the Champions League. You can only say 'yes'.
Sunday: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool FC (Oxlade-Chamberlain 16, Podolski 47; Gerrard 59pen)
Fabiański; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Flamini; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Özil; Sanogo.
• Just eight days after a 5-1 Premier League defeat at Liverpool, Arsenal bounced back to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals. Yaya Sanogo started his first game for the club.
Aaron Ramsey (thigh), Kim Källström (back) and Abou Diaby (knee) are all out of action. Mikel Arteta is suspended, but all Arsenal's other players have recovered from Sunday's action, with Tomáš Rosický also coming into the squad.
Josep Guardiola, Bayern coach
It's my third time here to play Arsenal. I've never won here and I've learned that you can't dominate for 90 minutes against Arsenal. You can play good and dominate for half the game perhaps, or for 70 minutes, but for 90 minutes it's impossible.
With the quality of players Arsenal have we know they can cause [us] a problem, but we'll try to play well, as best we possibly can. We don't think too much about the second leg – we must concentrate on what we have to do tomorrow and I hope it goes well.
We are in the most prestigious competition in world football and in a perfect setting – here at Arsenal, in London – so it's a good test for us. We are doing well in Germany, but now we face a good test to know what our level is. I'm looking forward to finding out.
I know how difficult it is to take the next step. I know what happened last year against Arsenal. Bayern won, but it was very difficult in the last five minutes. I have a lot of respect for my colleague Arsène Wenger. They have good organisation, they are always in good shape and they always organise with the ball, never without.
Saturday: Bayern 4-0 SC Freiburg (Dante 19; Shaqiri 34 42; Pizarro 88)
Neuer; Rafinha, Martínez, Dante, Contento; Lahm (Götze 64), Toni Kroos, Robben (Van Buyten 78), Thomas Müller, Shaqiri (Schweinsteiger 61); Pizarro.
• Bayern have won 13 Bundesliga games in a row. They were four points clear of second-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen on matchday six; their advantage now at the summit is 16.
Franck Ribéry misses the first leg as he recuperates following surgery on a buttock injury while Xherdan Shaqiri was ruled out with a thigh problem. Bastian Schweinsteiger (ankle) and Daniel Van Buyten (knee) return to contention.
• As FC Barcelona coach, Guardiola's record against Arsenal was W2 D1 L1. His team lost 2-1 in north London in the 2010/11 round of 16 first leg but won the return 3-1.