Arsène Wenger has stressed the importance of making a fast start against Bayern Munich because “every minute counts” in ties such as these.
The Gunners found themselves two goals down to the German side after just 20 minutes of last season’s Champions League clash at Emirates Stadium.
Wenger is determined to avoid a repeat performance on Wednesday night, and is expecting an exciting game.
It is important [to make a fast start] because every minute counts in a game of this stature and we are conscious of that and we’ll try to start very stronglyArsène Wenger
“With the quality of the players on the pitch on both sides, it's nearly impossible to play without style,” he said. “All the quality players are exceptionally gifted people and they will produce a quality game.
“If you look at the history of the Champions League, you will see that it is always the big players who make a difference, and after the analysis is always adapted to the team that wins. But most of the time it's the big players who make the difference on the pitch.
“It is important [to make a fast start] because every minute counts in a game of this stature and we are conscious of that and we’ll try to start very strongly. We have big home strengths recently because we don't give goals away and that will certainly be vitally important in this tie.”
Much has been made of the battle on the touchline as Wenger and Pep Guardiola go head to head, but the Arsenal boss insists this is merely a sideshow.
“Look, it's interesting, but football is not a chess game. It belongs to the players, when the game starts [it is about] the right decisions on the pitch,” he said.
“As managers, we prepare the team to do well. We take responsibility when it doesn't go well, but let’s not forget that the main heroes are on the pitch, not on the bench.”