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Arsenal are one of the best teams in Europe, says Bayern's Van Buyten

Bayern Munich defender Daniel Van Buyten has warned his team-mates that Arsenal are among the finest teams in Europe before their Champions League clash on Tuesday evening.

The Bundesliga leaders travel to the Emirates Stadium for the first leg of their round-of-16 tie, and the Belgian international is well aware of the threat posed by the Gunners.

And the 35-year-old says his team will have to work as hard without the ball as they do with it if they are to be successful and better last year's run of reaching the final before being defeated by Chelsea.

"I can feel the excitement already, but I think that's the case for every player," he told the club's official website. "Champions League football is just so special, especially when you play an English club. We're all really looking forward to it.

"Arsenal are one of the best teams in Europe. They have huge attacking potential, excellent individuals and they're a very good team unit. But we have plenty of quality, and we intend to show it. It'll be a great game.

"Arsenal are obviously quality. But even against teams lacking Arsenal's big name players, it's always difficult for the defence and the whole team; in Wolfsburg for example, or in Mainz.

"It might look easy, but a huge amount of work goes into it - lots of training, lots of communication. All the players put a huge amount into it, even when we don't have the ball."

Van Buyten will be facing two familiar players in former Bayern striker Lukas Podolski and fellow Belgian Thomas Vermaelen, and the veteran is excited about meeting up with the duo.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing [Vermaelen] and Poldi. I spoke to Thomas about the game a couple of weeks ago when we were on national team duty, but we've not been in touch in the build-up to the match itself."