• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Champions League: Odegaard rallies Arsenal ahead of Bayern clash

Odegaard-Kane

Ahead of their Uefa Champions League quarter-final clash against Bayern Munich, Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has urged his teammates not to be intimidated by the presence of striker Harry Kane.

Kane, who has been prolific since his move to Bayern from Tottenham Hotspur, poses a significant threat with his goal-scoring prowess.

However, Odegaard asserts that while they respect Kane’s abilities, Arsenal will not succumb to fear.

“[He’s] a good player, we know his quality in the box,” acknowledged Odegaard. “I think we should respect him but I don’t think we should fear anyone and we should focus on ourselves.”

Kane shares the top spot in this season’s Champions League scoring chart with six goals in eight matches, alongside Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann. His remarkable goal-scoring record of 32 top-flight goals in Europe’s major leagues further underscores his potency.

Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus hails Kane as “the best finisher in the world,” while manager Mikel Arteta acknowledges his extraordinary numbers over the past decade.

Despite Kane’s formidable presence, Bayern finds themselves trailing significantly in the Bundesliga title race this season, lagging behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen by 16 points.

Meanwhile, Arsenal sits atop the Premier League standings on goal difference with seven games remaining, aiming to secure a spot in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 15 years.

Arsenal has no fresh concerns, with Jurrien Timber remaining sidelined due to a knee injury.

On the Bayern side, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer faces uncertainty, along with midfielders Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Aleksandar Pavlovic, as well as defender Noussair Mazraoui.

Sacha Boey, Bouna Sarr, Tarek Buchmann, and Noel Aseko-Nkili are expected to miss the match due to injury for Bayern.