Odegaard Unfazed by Kane Threat as Arsenal Brace for Bayern Showdown

By Xorkpe Sosu 5 Min Read

Bayern Munich heads to London for their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg against Arsenal, their only hope at silverware this season.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has downplayed fear of Harry Kane, despite the striker’s impressive form for Bayern.

Kane, set to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, may encounter a hostile reception due to his past with Tottenham Hotspur.

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Despite Bayern being 16 points behind Bayer Leverkusen domestically, they remains among the favorites to win the 2023/24 Champions League.

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Thomas Tuchel’s side recovered from a narrow first-leg loss to Lazio in the round of 16 to defeat them 3-0 at home.

Harry Kane, who scored twice in that game, leads the 2023/24 Champions League scoring charts with six goals, alongside Kylian Mbappé, Erling Haaland, and Antoine Griezmann.

The England captain, scoring his 32nd Bundesliga goal in Bayern’s surprising 3-2 loss to Heidenheim, is well-known to Arsenal fans for his record-breaking stint at Tottenham, scoring 280 goals for Spurs, including 14 against Arsenal in 19 meetings.

Arsenal recognizes the significant threat posed by Harry Kane to their European ambitions, given his track record of 14 goals in 19 games against them during his time at Spurs.

Odegaard praises Kane’s quality but insists Arsenal should focus on their own strengths

However, Martin Odegaard remains calm, acknowledging Kane’s prowess but emphasizing the importance of focusing on their own strengths.

Odegaard said, “He’s a good player, of course, and I have played against him a few times, so we know the quality he has in the box and his ability in link-up play. We are facing a good team on Tuesday.”

Odegaard praises Kane's quality but insists Arsenal should focus on their own strengths

“I think we should respect him, but I don’t think we should fear anyone. We should focus on ourselves and the quality we have in our team. And that is all.”

“They have had some strange results in the league but if you look at the team, you can see the quality they have, and we know that, we know they are a really strong side.”

“They have really good individual players as well. It will be a tough battle. But we are ready.”

“Every game we play there are some good challenges and we play in the best league in the world, they are a good team and (have) a lot of good attacking players and it will be a big night.”

Arsenal’s recent European encounters with Bayern have been dismal, losing their last three meetings 5-1 each time.

However, under Mikel Arteta, they’re having a strong season and temporarily claimed the Premier League’s top spot after a 3-0 victory over Brighton.

Kai Havertz, well-known to Bundesliga fans from his time at Bayer Leverkusen, played a key role in that win with a goal and an assist. He’s likely to lead Arsenal’s attack on Tuesday, with Gabriel Jesus possibly playing on the flank or as a substitute.

Bukayo Saka is fit and expected to feature, while Jurrien Timber remains Arsenal’s only injury concern.

Bayern has a strong record in England, unbeaten in six of their last nine visits with four wins and two draws, and three of those victories were in London.

Bayern has previously knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League knockout stages three times: in 2004/05, 2012/13, and 2013/14.

Here are the probable line-ups for the upcoming match:

Arsenal: Raya – White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior – Ødegaard (c), Jorginho, Rice – Saka, Havertz, Trossard
Out: Timber (knee)

Bayern Munich: Ulreich – Kimmich, De Ligt, Dier, Davies – Laimer, Goretzka – Gnabry, Müller (c), Musiala – Kane
Out: Boey (muscular), Buchmann (thigh), Sarr (knee), Coman (muscular), Mazraoui (muscular), Neuer (groin), Pavlović (ill), Sané (pelvis)

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