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Home > Sports > Football > Reuters > Report


Arsenal wary of snow and Makaay

Kevin Fylan in Munich | February 22, 2005 11:02 IST

Arsenal will be wary of the freezing Bavarian winter as well as Bayern Munich striker Roy Makaay when the two sides meet in the Champions League at the Olympic Stadium in Munich on Tuesday.

"We discovered the snow on our arrival," Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said flying into freezing cold and ankle-deep snow on Monday.

"I hope there's not much on the pitch tomorrow because we're not used to such conditions.

"It is a concern for us if the pitch is frozen but it shouldn't be, because they have undersoil heating, I expect the pitch to be normal, otherwise the game wouldn't be going ahead."

Bayern warmed up for the match with a 5-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in which Dutchman Makaay scored a hat-trick.

Wenger said it would be more important for his side to shackle Bayern's talented midfield than concentrate on closing down Makaay.

"Big teams like Bayern have a lot of players who can score goals," the French coach said. "For us, it will be important to stop the supply to Makaay and the other forwards. To do that, we'll have to defend as a unit."

Arsenal have failed to impress in the Champions League under Wenger, never managing to progress beyond the quarter-finals.

French midfielder Patrick Vieira said the players had learned form their mistakes and hinted that they may opt for a more cautious approach in Tuesday's first leg.

"I've discovered that you don't always have to play really well to win in this competition," Vieira said.

"Sometimes we've tried to play too much good football, going forward a little too much. We've learned from that.

"The Champions League is a big target. We feel frustrated but we have more experience now and we will do better."

Arsenal will be without Sol Campbell on Tuesday because of injury, while Ashley Cole remains a doubt after being in bed for a week with flu.

"I haven't made up my mind about him," the coach said. "I don't know if he's up to a big Champions League game."


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