BERLIN, March 9- Coach Pep Guardiola has warned record-breaking Bayern Munich to expect ‘big problems’ against Arsenal if they gift the Gunners too much possession in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16, second-leg.
European champions Bayern hold a 2-0 led from the first leg in London and warmed-up for Tuesday’s clash at Munich’s Allianz Arena with a 6-1 drubbing of Wolfsburg in the league on Saturday.
Guardiola is all too aware that Arsenal claimed a 2-0 win in Munich at the same stage in Europe last season, although Bayern went through on away goals to eventually win the final.
“If we give Arsenal too much possession, we will have big, big problems,” warned Guardiola.
“If we keep the ball, we’ll get into the quarter-finals, if they control it, they’ll go through.”
Arsenal prepared for their trip to Bavaria with a 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has said the victory, with goals from Mesut Ozil, Mikel Arteta, plus two from Olivier Giroud, put them “in a good frame of mind psychologically”.
But Guardiola is wary as Wolfsburg were still in Saturday’s Bundesliga match with 30 minutes left until Bayern ran riot after a below-par first 45 minutes.
Germany winger Thomas Mueller and Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic grabbed two goals each as the score leapt from 2-1 after 63 minutes to 6-1 with 80 minutes on the clock.
It was a particularly good day for Mandzukic, who came off the bench against his old club for the last 33 minutes to score twice, and give him 16 goals for the season.
The 27-year-old has now netted six times in his last five league games to take over from Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski as the league’s top scorer.
With second-placed Dortmund playing Freiburg on Sunday, Bayern have opened a record 23-point lead at the top of the table.
The win in Wolfsburg was Bayern’s 16th Bundesliga victory in a row and bettered their own league record of 15 straight wins in 2005.
It extended their record unbeaten league run to 49 matches.
It matches Arsenal’s Premier League record of 49 games without defeat set in 2004 and is bettered only by AC Milan’s record of 58 matches unbeaten from 1991-1993 in Europe’s top leagues.
Bayern’s haul of 72 goals from their first 24 league games broke Werder Bremen’s previous record of 70 set in 1985/86 and Bayern have only dropped four points with 22 wins in 24 games.