Wenger calls for unity
February 19, 2013 07:29:20 UK
Arsenal must show "we have mental strength" to qualify from the Champions League last 16 against Bayern Munich, says Arsene Wenger.
The north Londoners play host to the runaway Bundesliga leaders on Tuesday determined to bounce back from a shock defeat by Blackburn in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Jupp Heynckes' men have bulldozed their way to a 15-point lead at the top in Germany but have lost on their last four visits to England in Europe's elite club competition. The Gunners also beat the same opponents 1-0 in March 2005, but ultimately went out having lost the first leg 3-1.
The Premier League top-four chasers can be backed at 4.33 in the 90 minutes market, with the draw quoted 3.75 and Bayern available to back at 1.90. Arsenal are also priced up 501.00 to win the Champions League this season.
Wenger said it was important his players stood up to the all-conquering Bavarians and proved to Arsenal fans they have the "quality, spirit and mental strength" to progress.
The Frenchman said: "It's important we play with belief; we're on a good run overall. The fact is that we've lost two of our last 11 league games. Nil-nil at home is a very good result in the Champions League knockout, but we're an offensive team and we'll try to go forward and score goals."
He added: "We've been consistently in the last 16 but what we want now is to break through. I think it's a fantastic opportunity to do that because I believe we have a strong team."
Wenger revealed "uncertainty" about the fitness of Laurent Koscielny (calf), while Kieran Gibbs is out with a thigh injury and fellow left-back Nacho Monreal is ineligible.
Thomas Vermaelen (ankle), Francis Coquelin (hamstring) and Jack Wilshere (thigh) all played in the FA Cup setback at the hands of Blackburn.
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