Pep Guardiola: I respect Arsene Wenger

The Arsenal boss has become embroiled in a war of words with Jose Mourinho, but another former foe of the Chelsea boss has offered him his support.

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola says he holds Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in high esteem as he prepares his side to face the Gunners at the Emirates.

The two sides meet Wednesday in the first leg of an eagerly anticipated Champions League last 16 clash.

Defending champions Bayern knocked Arsenal out at the same stage last year, but Wenger's men are enjoying an excellent season, sitting second in the Premier League and through to the last eight of the FA Cup.

The London club is also unbeaten in its last 13 home matches, of which 10 have been wins, making Guardiola cautious.

"My opinion on Arsene is that I have a lot of respect," the Spaniard said. "His teams have his quality and I have to admire the quality of my opponents. We are going to play one team that has all the season been up (leading the league), so now they are third or second in the league, but in the beginning (they were) there.

"It is a typical team that always puts in a good performance in the Champions League. The last eight, nine or 10 years they have been in the Champions League and they are a special team with (Santi) Cazorla, (Mesut) Ozil, (Jack) Wilshere, (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, (Aaron) Ramsey. They always have good midfield players, with combinations. You have to be good in both sides in our defensive movements and try to understand their game."

Bayern is also in good form and has won its last nine matches in all competitions, scoring 28 goals in the process.