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Bayern v Arsenal: Arteta waiting on Saka, Odegaard injuries for ‘unbelievable’ Champions League game

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Arsenal reaching the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League for the first time in 15 years would be “unbelievable”, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has said before their last-eight decider at Bayern Munich.

After a 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium in the first leg, Arteta’s side are aiming to recover from their 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday by beating the most successful team in the history of German football.

“If we make the semi-finals, we would be in a high emotional state,” said Arteta, who is in his first managerial role and has also made Arsenal Premier League contenders.

“There is an opportunity. We can win it but we can lose it. We have had an unbelievable journey; we will do our best to try to win those cups.”

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Bayern have been emphatically dethroned by Bayer Leverkusen as Bundesliga champions but performed impressively in London, taking a first-half lead through Harry Kane as their persistent counter-attacking paid off.

Arsenal needed Leandro Trossard’s 76th-minute equaliser to restore parity and are relative rookies compared to the six-time European champions.

Saka, Odegaard injuries in the balance

“Most of our players have not experienced this,” acknowledged Arteta. “They are super-motivated and confident.

“Emotion is needed in football. It is about tweaking the right person at the right time to have that.

“We did that well in London. We took the lead, then five minutes they are ahead. We did well not to throw the game away. We got back in the game and were looking for a winner.”

Top scorer Bukayo Saka and captain Martin Odegaard will be assessed after suffering knocks in the defeat to Villa, which left Arsenal two points behind top-flight leaders Manchester City.

“It would be unbelievable,” Arteta said of the prospect of setting up a tie against holders Manchester City or 14-time champions Real Madrid.

“Everything we have done for 10 months and last season – we have an opportunity to make it happen.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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