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Hartson: Arsenal should not fear Bayern Munich

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Arsenal chairman backing under-pressure Wenger
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Arsenal chairman backing under-pressure Wenger
Arsenal has no reason to fear Bayern Munich after drawing the German giant in the last 16 of the Champions League, according to former Gunners star John Hartson.

The north London outfit will face Jupp Heynckes’ men with Bayern currently nine points clear at the top of Bundesliga, having only lost one of its opening 17 games this term.

However, Hartson is convinced that Arsene Wenger’s side can overcome the Bavarians, and feels that the Gunners are capable of beating any side in Europe on their day.

"It's a tough draw for Arsenal but they have no reason to fear Bayern,” Hartson told Goal.com. “I think they will just be happy that they avoided Barcelona for what would have been a third meeting in four years.

"Arsenal have a fantastic record in Europe being the only club to have qualified for the last 13 knockout stages. People forget just how consistent they are in European competition. It's not fair on Arsene [Wenger] that everyone seems to want to put them down on the domestic stage when things aren't always going their way."

Despite being confident for his former side ahead of the tie, Hartson acknowledges that Bayern will be a tough proposition, and feels that the four-time champion of Europe should have added to its haul last season, when the club lost in the final of the competition to Chelsea on penalties.

"In my opinion Bayern should have won the trophy last season,” he said. “Chelsea were very fortunate. I think Bayern had 18 corners to Chelsea's one and, of course, the Germans missed a penalty before the shootout. They are a traditionally a very experienced European side and, like all German teams, are mentally strong. German football is flying just now with three of them winning their Champions League groups.

"But none of that will worry Arsenal. They are very capable of beating Bayern over two legs and a lot can happen between now and February. Arsenal are inconsistent but on their day they are capable of beating anyone in Europe."

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