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Arsenal's Podolski ready for Bayern's 'big players'

Thursday 20 December 2012 18.00 CET
Lukas Podolski spent three seasons with Bayern

Arsenal FC forward Lukas Podolski is expecting an even tie with FC Bayern München in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Bayern and Arsenal have met four times in the UEFA Champions League with the German side edging the head-to-head record with two wins, one draw and a defeat. The teams last came together in the 2004/05 round of 16 when Bayern claimed a 3-1 first-leg victory and lost 1-0 in the London return to progress. Bayern, though, will be keen to erase the memory of their last game against English opposition – last season's final versus Chelsea FC.

Lukas Podolski, Arsenal forward
They played in the final in 2010 and again last year. It's a big club but we have the chance to win against Bayern. They have a very good team with big players. They have [Mario] Gomez up front, they have Franck [Ribéry], [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer. There are two matches, one at home, one away. Both teams have the chance to win.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern chairman
I think we enter the tie as slight favourites, but we would be making a mistake by underestimating them. Arsenal have struggled in the league at times over the past few months, as a look at the Premier League standings tells you. But this will, by no means, be an easy tie. I look forward to it, though, and seeing my old friend Arsène Wenger. I hope we can reach the next round.

Lukas Podolski is a former Bayern player and a familiar face. I hope we can be as successful as Schalke were in London [in the group stage], where they managed to secure a 2-0 victory. We want to set the foundations with a good performance in London – that would make things easier for us at home. I wouldn't call it a lucky draw, but it is one we can master.

Previous meetings (UEFA Champions League unless stated)
09/03/2005: Arsenal 1-0 Bayern (Henry 66), round of 16
22/02/2005: Bayern 3-1 Arsenal (Pizarro 4 58, Salihamidžić 65; Touré 88), round of 16
14/03/2001: Bayern 1-0 Arsenal (Elber 10), second group stage
05/12/2000: Arsenal 2-2 Bayern (Henry 3, Kanu 54; Tarnat 56, Scholl 66), second group stage

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