ESPN FC: Gunning for the champions
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen believes Bayern Munich could be “nervous” ahead of the clubs’ Champions League last-16 first leg at the Emirates on Wednesday.
The two sides met in last year’s competition, with Bayern taking a 3-1 lead back to the Allianz Arena. But Arsenal headed to Germany and pulled off a huge shock, winning 2-0, but bowed out on the away goals rule.
And Vermaelen believes Bayern, who went on to lift the trophy following that scare, will be wary of the Gunners this time around.
“It’s really difficult to say what would be a good result in this first leg,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “The priority is always that you don’t want to concede a goal at home, but it’s about two legs, and we won away last season of course, so you never know what will happen.
“They will think about that game in Germany last season too, that might make them a bit nervous. We were really close to knocking them out and I don’t think they would have been happy to draw us at this stage. There were easier draws than us!”
Vermaelen, who has played just 45 minutes of first-team football since picking up an injury on January 4, also revealed he is close to making a return to action.
“It’s going well,” he added. “I’m training outside now and getting back to fitness. It was a knee injury, but then I also had some tightness in my calf. But it’s getting better now, so I shouldn’t be out for long.
“I don’t want to put a date on it, but I can say it will be short-term. I’m building up my fitness now.”