• Champions League

Bayern must still respect Arsenal, warns Heynckes

ESPN staff
March 12, 2013
Bayern Munich have a healthy first leg advantage over Arsenal © Getty Images

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has urged his side to treat Arsenal with respect ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg on Wednesday.

Bayern go into the game as huge favourites, taking a 3-1 first-leg lead into the Allianz Arena.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Heynckes said he has plenty of respect for his opponents and is sure that the Bundesliga club will be more than prepared when they take on the Gunners.

"We played excellent in the first leg. I know by experience you have to give 100% all the time in this competition," Heynckes said. "This is the Champions League, and Arsenal is not just any club. I know and respect [Arsene] Wenger. And I know, Arsenal will try everything."

In last season's competition, Arsenal nearly completed a memorable comeback after losing 4-0 to AC Milan in the last-16 first leg, only to narrowly miss out on qualification for the quarter-finals after running out 3-0 victors in the return leg.

Heynckes wants his Bayern team to learn a lesson from that clash and realise that the tie is far from over.

"Arsenal lost 4-0 to Milan in the first leg and won the return leg 3-0," he said. "Based on chances it should have ended 4-0."

Bayern will be without France international Franck Ribery, who is to be rested with a minor ligament injury.

"Right after the game on Saturday, I knew he most likely would not play. He stretched ligaments," Heynckes said. "It is not a major injury. He should return to training on Thursday and we will take from there. We will not risk anything."

However, Heynckes will be able to call upon Netherlands international Arjen Robben to replace Ribery. Robben was rested for Bayern's victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf last weekend to keep him fresh for the Arsenal clash.

"That he missed out on the Dusseldorf game was a precaution," Heynckes said. "He needs to trust his body. And he was able to do so yesterday and the day before yesterday."

Bayern will also be without suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng. However, Heynckes feels the depth of his squad is strong enough to cover the absentees.

"With Luiz Gustavo, Javi Martinez and Toni Kroos we have three very different players that match well." Heynckes said. The Bayern boss added that striker Mario Gomez would be available if needed, despite a minor hip injury.

Heynckes also went on to answer questions on the below-par performance of the Premier League clubs in the Champions League this year. The Gunners are the last English club left in the competition but could face elimination on Wednesday.

"Let's see what happens tomorrow [Wednesday]. I am very cautious," Heynckes said. "But take a look at Manchester United. A decision made by the ref put them at a disadvantage. In the Champions League it is important to start and finish a game with 11 players, that is fundamental. The decisions brutally affected the game. Even Jose Mourinho confirmed it.

"This is the Champions League - in Italy, Juventus will win the league again, they have ambition. There will always be a change - maybe Italian football is en vogue again. And after tomorrow hopefully three German clubs will still be in the competition. It revives European football."

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