Mikel Arteta: Arsenal boss praises ‘great question’ but refuses to answer ahead of UCL quarterfinal

Arsenal will return to playing in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, as they welcome Bayern Munich to Emirates Stadium for the first leg of a thrilling quarterfinal tie. Ahead of the match, Mikel Arteta addressed the media from the club’s Sobha Realty Training Centre in London Colney.

The entirety of the Emirates Stadium has been opened up to Arsenal fans for this fixture, with UEFA having taken the decision to ban travelling fans after Bayern Munich supporters threw fireworks onto the pitch during their round-of-sixteen tie against Lazio.

But there will be one longstanding rival returning to North London on Tuesday, as ex-Tottenham striker Harry Kane looks set to lead the line for Thomas Tuchel’s side. Arteta praised the Englishman, but insisted that he is far from the only threat in a well-rounded team.

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‘When you look at his numbers over the last 10 years, it’s unbelievable what he’s done. He can score in many different ways, he’s got the service and players around him to provide those opportunities. This is what we have to try to avoid.’

‘It’s a team function, the individuals they have,’ explained Arteta. ‘We know the individual qualities of all those players and him in particular, the ability he has. The best thing to do is what we do collectively to try to prevent certain things.’

Arteta was quizzed as to whether he has called upon the expertise of fellow Spaniard, Xabi Alonso, ahead of Tuesday’s match. Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen side remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season, having secured four points against Bayern Munich. The Gunners boss could not have been clearer in his answer. ‘Great question, but I’m not going to answer that,’ he replied swiftly.

Arsenal host Bayern Munich at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, with kickoff scheduled for 20:00 BST.