Arsenal of England are eyeing an unlikely upset against four-times European champions Bayern Munich today at the Football Arena, in Munich. This is coming as Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes has refused to accept the favourites tag for the title this season. He said he expects Arsenal to try every trick in the book to reverse the 3-1 Champions League last-16 first-leg deficit.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes warned the bad run of English teams in the top European competition this season should not be any indication of the real threat that Arsenal, with their backs to the wall, will pose today. “There is always change in the Champions League,” Heynckes told reporters. “Now it’s Italian and German clubs that seem to be back in fashion this season. These are changes that revitalise European football.”
Title holders Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have already been eliminated from the competition. The Bundesliga leaders, in stark contrast to their English opponents, have enjoyed a scintillating season and are in the running for three title.
Heynckes, however, has urged his players to remain grounded despite the fact that only two teams have advanced after losing the home leg of a Champions League knockout round match. “I have no interest in dividing up the skin before I kill the bear,” Heynckes told reporters yesterday. “My team is not listening to those saying we are the best team in Europe at the moment. There are several top teams and you have to confirm that status in every game. We have to stay modest and that is how we need to continue. We should not allow to be influenced from the outside because in order to be called the best team you have to confirm that internationally,” said the 67-year-old coach who will make way for Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.
The Bavarians have twice in the last three years reached the final of the competition but their last Champions League trophy victory was 12 years ago.”I know (Arsenal coach) Arsene Wenger well and I have high respect for him as one of the top coaches in Europe. Arsenal will come here and will try out everything they can think of,” said Heynckes, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 1998.