Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski believes his side are equipped to dethrone Champions League holders Bayern Munich when the two teams meet in the last-16 of the competition next month.
Bayern comprehensively beat Arsenal in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash at Emirates Stadium last season and while the Gunners came close to pulling off an improbable comeback in Munich, their elimination could not be avoided.
Yet Podolski hopes his side are ready to go one better this time, as he is talking up Arsenal’s hopes of a victory against Pep Guardiola’s Bayern.
“We know them well and Bayern are one of the best teams around, but we are also playing a good season and we’ll try all we can to turn around the result from last season this time around,” Podolski told Germany’s Sport1 television.
“Of course I know them and am friends with them -- I know the bosses (president) Uli Hoeness and (chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and everybody who works at the club, but when the game approaches and we get out onto the field, then you are only focused. Our aim is to be in the next round.”
Podolski went on to talk up his hopes of success in 2014, as he suggested the Gunners have laid a platform for an exciting second half to the season and went on to promote Germany’s hopes of success at Brazil 2014.
“It could be an exciting year,” he added. “We’re top of the Premier League with Arsenal and we want to stay there.
“Then of course there is the World Cup, which is another great highlight, but that is a bit further down the line. Our last major tournaments have gone well and I think we can play a major role again.
“We’ll all be more clued up on where we stand after our first game [against Portugal], but the aim is to finish at the very top.”