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Hope for Arsenal as Hummels warns Bayern are nowhere near their best

06:45 GMT 15/02/2017
Mats Hummels Bayern Munich 2017
The Germany international centre-back has insisted his side are yet to hit top gear this season and is anticipating a tough test against the Gunners


Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels has insisted that his side are not playing their best football at the moment, giving hope to Arsenal ahead of their Champions League tie.

The Gunners face a daunting task against the Bundesliga champions, with the north Londoners having been knocked out at the last 16 stage by the German giants in two of the last four seasons.

Arsene Wenger takes his side to the Allianz Arena for the first leg of the first knockout round on February 15, but Hummels is fully aware that Bayern are not currently firing on all cylinders.

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He told Goal: "For me personally, everything is great this season. I'm very happy with how I'm doing as a player. As a team, our results and our position in the table is okay.

"Even though on the pitch we aren't always playing at the level we expected. That's one thing we see, but it's something you can change immediately simply because you've noticed it.

"We must work hard in order to change it. Nevertheless we're in first place, four points clear of the rest which means that we can't have done too badly so far. But yes, of course, we're still very far from our best."

Hummels is anticipating a difficult challenge if Bayern are to advance past the Gunners, insisting that he is expecting a different kind of contest to what his side regularly face in their domestic competition.

He added: "It's a difficult but very attractive tie. It's nice, because it's in stark contrast to all our other matches. Arsenal are a team that wants to play football, they like to be in possession.

"Since Arsene Wenger's been there, so about 20 years, that's what they've stood for. It will certainly be a completely different game to what we face in our Bundesliga matches. They're not an opponent that only defends and attempts the counter attack.

"So you have to classify this game in complete isolation to any others and not consider what's happened before, or what can happen after."

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Arsenal had appeared to be the side with the best chance of catching runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea, although consecutive league defeats to Watford and Antonio Conte's side in 2017 have seen them fall 10 points behind.

When asked if the Gunners possessed their best squad for a number of years, Hummels said: "For me it's always difficult [to make such comparisons] as you have ups and downs during a season.

"They had a period where they looked the strongest Arsenal team for a long time. I think they won seven or eight league games. But that's the same as us. We have good periods and bad periods.

"You can't predict what sort of form Arsenal or Bayern will be in."