Robert Lewandowski’s battle with Arsenal’s centre-halves could decide tonight’s game with Bayern Munich, says Arsene Wenger. Lewandowski has 22 goals in 16 games for club and country this season and scored a Champions League winner at the Emirates during his time at Borussia Dortmund.

And Wenger has warned that, with Lewandowski about, there can be no repeat of the lapses in concentration that contributed to shock defeats against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos.

“First the best to combat him is for us to have the ball, and after that you have to be shrewd with him,” said Wenger, who has defender Gabriel Paulista back but has hinted he will start with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

“Inside the box he is outstanding, because his technique, his finishing, his movement inside the box, that is where we need the experience of Mertesacker and Koscielny.

“That’s because that will be one of the important things on the night.”

Wenger has admitted his side “could be suspected” of “not taking the opponent seriously enough” in their opening two games and acknowledges a result against record-breaking Bayern – on a 12-match winning run – is necessary to keep alive Arsenal’s hopes of qualification.

And Wenger, who saw Arsenal follow up the Olympiakos defeat with a 3-0 win over Manchester United, has challenged his players to deliver in difficult circumstances again.

“In Europe it is true we have been poor in our first two games, so that is what we want to correct, ” Wenger added.

“I must say we have our backs to the wall and we play against a top, team team, so I can understand the scepticism of people, but we have to prove them wrong.”

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