Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen believes Arsenal's win at the Allianz Arena last season could make Bayern Munich "nervous" ahead of this year's meeting.

The Gunners came within a whisker of knocking out the eventual European champions, losing on the away goals rule, despite a 2-0 second-leg win in Munich.

As the sides prepare for this season's rematch, Vermaelen is hoping Arsenal can use the memory of that game to their advantage.

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!

"It's really difficult to say what would be a good result in this first leg," he told the official matchday programme. "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 has been out of action since January 4 when he was taken off at half-time in the FA Cup win over Tottenham, but he reveals he is close to making a return to first-team action.

"It's going well, 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."

Matchday Programme

Read the captain's notes in the official matchday programme

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Josh James 19 Feb 2014