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Arsenal track record shows we can beat Bayern: Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger walks off the pitch following their English Premier League soccer match defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger walks off the pitch following their English Premier League soccer match defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Arsenal's European track record shows they can overcome the 2-0 last-16 first leg deficit when they face holders Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, coach Arsene Wenger said on Monday.

Bayern are seeking to become the first team to retain the trophy and will be banking on home advantage to sink Arsenal.

But Wenger said the Germans should not take victory for granted.

"It is a possible task, that is the most important thing. My team has quality and ambition," Wenger told reporters in Munich. "History is important in our belief. We know we can do it, because we have already done it (before).

"The way to win is to produce a top-level performance and turn up with quality and belief."

Arsenal narrowly went out on the away goals rule to Bayern last season after losing the first leg in London 3-1 but winning 2-0 in Munich.

Wenger highlighted a more successful European comeback in 2003 when they beat Inter Milan 5-1 away following a 3-0 home defeat.

"The statistics are against us, but we have won 5-1 at Inter, we have won everywhere in Europe," he said. "We have had a few good nights in Europe but it would be absolutely great (if we won tomorrow)."

Wenger said his team would be without injured defender Kieran Gibbs. Thomas Vermaelen could slip in as left back for Gibbs.

The manager, however, urged his players not to be impatient.

"We scored two late goals against Everton (in the 4-1 FA Cup win on Saturday), so we do not need to be nervous or impatient.

"We know that we have to attack but we also know we have to defend. We must find the right balance."

What he did not want to see is another red card for one of his players with Arsenal down to 10 men in the first leg after the sending off of keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

"I hope tomorrow we get a fair chance to play 11 versus 11 men until the end," said Wenger.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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