Munich - FC Bayern Munich take on Arsenal FC for the fifth time in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening, and their good past record against the Premier League side is down in no small part to the efforts of Oliver Kahn.

The legendary custodian stood between the posts in all four of the previous meetings between the sides, finishing on the losing side only once. The most recent head-to-head, at the same stage of the tournament in 2004/05, ended in a 3-2 aggregate victory for Bayern (3-1, 0-1).

Ahead of Tuesday's latest instalment, the Titan, who was on duty the last time Bayern won the Champions League in 2001, told bundesliga.com why he expects his former club's strong record against the Gunners to continue.

bundesliga.com: Oliver Kahn, is Arsenal against Bayern still a contest of two evenly-matched teams?

Oliver Kahn: If you consider their performances in recent years, then maybe Arsenal are no longer right up at the highest level. But I still like them because, like FC Bayern, they're one of the most solidly-run clubs in the world. The Gunners and Bayern share a similar philosophy: stay in the black, and keep healthy accounts.

bundesliga.com: Arsenal have a couple of Germay internationals in their ranks in Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker. They shouldn’t need any extra motivation, should they?

Kahn: I don’t think Bayern’s opponents need any extra motivation anyway. Bayern are, in my eyes, one of the best three teams in Europe, and worldwide. Everybody knows what they are up against when they face Bayern. Podolski and Mertesacker can’t do it alone. Arsenal’s overall system has got to be working perfectly, and I'm not so convinced they can achieve that at the highest level.

bundesliga.com: Do Bayern still perform an in-depth analysis of their opponents or are they more focused on their own strengths nowadays?

Kahn: At this level, you’ve got to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents in order to cover for every eventuality. So of course this analysis takes place. It’s just Bayern’s mentality is such that they want to dominate every game. It makes no difference if they’re playing in London, Madrid or Barcelona.

bundesliga.com: Bayern really are looking dominant. Could that lead to a touch of arrogance setting in?

Kahn: Arrogance would be fatal. That's not going to happen with this FC Bayern side. The players are very self-confident, though. They have clearly-defined goals and want to win as many titles as possible. That's in Bayern’s DNA, the so-called Mia-san-mia mentality, the utter self-belief they express, and that’s the way it should be.

bundesliga.com: Does it not make any difference whether they rotate or not?

Kahn: It would certainly be wrong to say Bayern have an established first team, but they do have a backbone which will play in the important matches. If two or three different players are brought in, the level of performance doesn’t suffer. In Europe, you can only survive when you have a squad with in-depth quality. Coach Jupp Heynckes will certainly pick the players for each match whom he considers to be in the strongest form.

bundesliga.com: Stars like Arjen Robben have already expressed their dissatisfaction because they are not playing enough. Could that become a problem, or does it just spur them on to even greater efforts?

Kahn: Of course there's a degree of discontent, but this is an issue which the media are building up. Jupp Heynckes is in complete control of the situation. With the Bundesliga, Champions League, DFB Cup and internationals, the fixture schedule is getting ever more crowded. There will be the odd injury along the way too, so everybody is going to get some game-time.

bundesliga.com: And do Bayern have enough to beat Arsenal?

Kahn: It’s going to be an interesting duel, but Bayern will make it through in the end. They're going to win 2-1 in London.


Interview by Michael Reis