Champions League preview – Arsenal v Bayern Munich | World Soccer

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger is confident his side can overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit in their UEFA Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.

“We have a big task in front of us, but we want to win and I believe we can win,” he said.

“All the rest is just down to the quality of performance that I think the players will produce tomorrow night. We allowed them to slow the game down [in Munich]. We want to dictate the pace of the game tomorrow.”

Talismanic striker Thierry Henry believes the return of Dennis Bergkamp, who missed the opening leg in Munich, could be crucial tonight.

“Having Dennis tomorrow will change things,” he said.

“When Dennis plays, I play stronger. He is the best player I have ever played with as a partner.”

Wenger added: “Dennis has a scientific brain on the football pitch and we need him to find every inch of space. You expect Bayern to be cautious. They have no reason to go out there and play.

“It’s down to us, but that’s what we face against any team that comes to Highbury. We have to be patient because even if we score after 85 minutes, we still have a chance to qualify.”

Wenger is pleased to welcome back Robert Pires after an ankle injury, but Brazilian midfield player Edu limped out of training on Tuesday and faces a scan on a knee problem to determine whether he can play.

Arsenal’s problems this season have largely been at the back and matters will not be helped by the absence tonight of centre-backs Pascal Cygan and Sol Campbell

A lot now depends on 20-year-old Swiss defender Philippe Senderos.

“I feel he grows from game to game,” Wenger said. “We have experienced players in the squad and they will help him.”

For Bayern coach Felix Magath, the injury to the prolific Roy Makaay is a blow, but Bayern are compensated by the return to form of inflluential playmaker Michael Ballack. The return from injury of Bixente Lizarazu is another booost for Bayern.

Bayern have not lost any of their last 21 Champions League matches by more than two goals, and Magath sees no reason for that run to end tonight.

“We know that Arsenal are very strong in attack but have problems in defence,” he said.

“This is our chance. We would like to be the team that scores first. We’re not coming to London just to play Arsenal, we’re coming to win.”

Probable teams:
vArsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Senderos, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Edu, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry
Bayern Munich: Kahn; Sagnol, Lucio, Kovac, Lizarazu; Frings, Hargreaves, Ballack, Salihamidzic; Guerrero, Pizarro

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