Wenger: We have some ground to make up in Europe

SoccerBy Sunday World
Focus: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger oversees training on Monday
Focus: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger oversees training on Monday

Manager Arsene Wenger knows it would be crazy to believe Arsenal can simply blow away the best team in the world, but sees no reason why his side cannot match Bayern Munich in their Champions League showdown.

The German giants come to the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night in imperious form, having just set a record for the best start to a domestic season with their ninth consecutive Bundesliga victory.

Pep Guardiola's men have also dominated the European campaign, with a 100 per cent record from both Group F matches so far, netting eight times without reply.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have suffered successive defeats from their first two Champions League fixtures to sit bottom of the table and facing a battle to qualify for the last 16.

However, domestically the Gunners continue to impress, following up the demolition of Manchester United, when they netted three times in the opening 20 minutes, with a hard-earned 3-0 win at Watford to sit second in the Barclays Premier League table, just two points behind Manchester City.

Wenger knows he must get the balance right on Tuesday night as Arsenal look for the victory to keep alive hopes of qualification, but also pay Bayern, the 2012/13 European Cup winners, their due respects.

"You can consider the teams who win the Champions League are the best in the world because most of the time they win after the World Cup of the clubs in recent years," he said.

"However, there is no team without weaknesses.

"What we want to do tomorrow is win the game. We want to defend well, attack well, score the first goal, that is massively important in the big games.

"You can never promise you will score three goals in 20 minutes because that would be absolutely crazy. What we can do is start in a strong way and that is what we will try to do."

Wenger feels Arsenal need to show a completely different attitude from when they were beaten away by Dinamo Zagreb on matchday one and then slumped to a 3-2 home defeat by Olympiacos.

"We have some ground to make up in Europe as we have not been at our requested level in our first two games," said Wenger, who will have centre-back Gabriel available again following illness, but goalkeeper David Ospina has a shoulder injury.

"Our focus has been much stronger in the Premier League than it has been in Europe and we know in this game the focus needs to be exactly the same than in the Premier League."

The Gunners boss added: "We have the needed belief and confidence that we are doing something right, so that helps.

"We maybe could be a little suspected of not taking the first two games at the level of not taking the opponent seriously enough, so this time this is not the threat so let's take the positives of our Premier League and as well get the right focus that you get when you play a big opponent."

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey insists the players are ready to prove a point against the Germans, who have knocked Arsenal out in the last 16 stage for the past two seasons.

"In the last two Champions League games we were not quite there to get the win, but our focus is now on Bayern and we are really looking forward to playing and going out there to express ourselves, and hopefully get the win," the Welshman said.

"You have to give 100 per cent commitment and concentration in the Champions League. You are up against the best teams in Europe, so there is no room for any slip-ups.

"It is important for us to go into the game tomorrow with the same mentality as in the Premier League and hopefully we can get the result we are looking for."