HomeFootball NewsArsenal: Arteta coy on Alonso contact ahead of Bayern Munich tie

Arsenal: Arteta coy on Alonso contact ahead of Bayern Munich tie

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Mikel Arteta has refused to confirm whether he has asked Xabi Alonso for tips on how to beat Bayern Munich, warning Arsenal to expect the German giants at their best on Tuesday.

Having beaten Porto in a tense penalty shoot-out in the last 16, Arsenal are preparing to compete in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2009-10.

Opponents Bayern have endured a terrible season, sitting 16 points adrift of runaway leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and being dumped out of the DFB-Pokal by third-tier Saarbrucken in November.

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Speaking at a press conference to preview Tuesday’s first leg at the Emirates Stadium, Arteta was asked whether he had discussed the tie with Leverkusen boss Alonso.

Arteta’s refusal to answer suggested he may have done, with the Spaniard smiling as he said: “Great question but I’m not going to answer that!”

Arteta was then asked whether he expected Bayern’s poor form to have any impact on the tie, but he has prepared his team to face Thomas Tuchel’s side at their very best.

“From my side, no,” Arteta said. “It’s something that we have no say or control over and we just always expect the best from our opponents, against Bayern, Brighton or Aston Villa.

“Regardless of where they are, you always have to expect that they play in their best possible way and be prepared to outperform them.”

Arsenal’s last three meetings with Bayern – all of which came in the Champions League – have ended in humiliating 5-1 defeats for the Gunners, the last two of them condemning Arsenal Wenger’s men to a chastening 10-2 aggregate defeat in the round of 16 in 2016-17.

Asked whether those results would have any bearing on this tie, Arteta said: “It’s there, that’s the history and when you look at the history of the competition, it’s clear.

“The nature and the capacity to perform on the biggest stages… we have to prove we have that, that’s for sure.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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