Vermaelen - This is a different stage

Thomas Vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen

Thomas Vermaelen expects a completely different Arsenal performance at Emirates Stadium tonight after the disappointment of Saturday's FA Cup exit.

The Arsenal captain has consigned the defeat against Blackburn Rovers to the past and says the Champions League offers a brand new stage on which to shine. All the same, Vermaelen knows exactly what lies in store against a strong Bayern Munich side.

He told the official matchday programme: "Tonight we’ll see a totally different game in a different competition.

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"There will be some familiarity, particularly for our German players, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker. They are both in the typical mould that you’d expect - disciplined, focused on what they are doing, serious about their jobs.

"That’s how German players go about things. They know their tasks and make sure to carry them out with a very professional mentality. That’s what we’ll be facing tonight and it’s how we’ll be approaching the task, too."

The importance of away goals is often discussed when the Champions League knockout stage comes around, and some suggest that netting on opposition territory carries less weight nowadays.

Vermaelen believes, though, that shutting Bayern out tonight would benefit Arsenal considerably.

He said: "There’s always talk about how vital an away goal might be when the knockout ties come around. I do think it’s important, and sometimes it can be decisive, so it’s important not to concede tonight and that we can come out with an advantage.

"Whatever happened at the weekend is now gone. We’re looking to respond and play our own game in front of a home crowd that, I am sure, will be up for this."

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