Football

Pep Guardiola expecting 'long ball' football from Arsenal

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When Arsenal travel to Germany for Wednesday's match against Pep Guardiola's all-conquering Bayern Munich side, it will be billed as two of football's good guys going into battle.

Guardiola appears to be a younger, handsomer and more successful version of Arsene Wenger, but both command the utmost respect throughout the game, both could waltz into any managerial job they want, and both would rather retire than abandon their beautiful football principles.

So you can take Guardiola's suggestion that he expects Arsenal to play 'long ball' football at the Allianz Arena as a moderately-vailed dig at his opponent. The Spaniard believes the likely inclusion of Olivier Giroud means the Gunners will only have one way to attack his Bundesliga champions.

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However, Guardiola was quick to praise Wenger's men, claiming they remain one of Europe's most dangerous teams despite currently sitting rock bottom of their group.

"They will play a lot of high passes to Olivier Giroud," he told reporters. "We did not allow them do to so in the first game.

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"They will not park the bus, but attack. Arsenal is a top team in Europe. They are strong enough. Arsenal want to attack, but it's difficult against us with our good pressing game."

Arsenal will need at least a point to keep a realistic hope of qualifying for the knock-out round and the Gunners will be confident after sealing a surprise 2-0 win at the Emirates last month.

However, Wenger has lost Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to injury since then and also seen his side lose 3-0 to Sheffield Wednesday. But Guardiola doesn't believe their current problems with injury will hamper them.

"They are strong enough," he exclaimed.

Evolving tactics

Wenger may not have been converted to the church of Sam Allardyce, but the Gunners are no longer a team that concentrates on keeping the ball for long passages of time. This season, they have adopted a game that champions defensive organisation and a devastating counter-attack.

Now charged with the task of taking on one of the game's greatest teams, they will have to be as organised as ever if they are to come home with at least a point.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Arsenal
Bayern Munich
Football
Bundesliga

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