ARSENE WENGER will tonight cling to the mantra that "anything is possible in football" as his side aim to rewrite history and overturn a 3-1 deficit at Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Despite everything seemingly being stacked against the Gunners at the Allianz Arena, where England midfielder Jack Wilshere misses out with an ankle injury, Wenger insists the tie is not a lost cause.
The runaway Bundesliga leaders look all set to take their place in the quarter-finals having delivered a European masterclass in a comprehensive victory in the first leg of the last-16 tie in north London three weeks ago.
Bayern's home defensive record is formidable and they have not conceded three since losing to Inter Milan two years ago, while this season they have let in only 10 goals in 25 Bundesliga matches.
Arsenal manager Wenger, though, has seen enough unpredictable results from both sides down the years and will not rule anything out just yet.
"Football is football – everything is possible," said Wenger, who elected to leave first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny back in London.
"It is a difficult task, we know that, but we think it is not impossible.
"The only way to make it possible is to have a real go and play at our best. I am confident we will be completely focused and up for it."
Wenger feels now is the perfect moment for his team to pay back his belief and deliver what would go down as one of the greatest of European comebacks.
"I am convinced that if this team can find a big game, with a big win, you will see a completely different animal. This season we have fought to find that in the big games and we have another opportunity and I hope the team takes this chance," he said.
"I have a great respect for this team and its attitude and they have not been rewarded yet. It is important for the end to our season that we do it here."
Wilshere's ankle problem will also rule him out of England's World Cup qualifying double-header against San Marino and Montenegro.
Wenger said: "It is a big blow for us, of course, but he was out for 17 months and we had to deal with it, so three weeks compared to that is something that we can deal with."
Wenger, though, refused to be drawn on exactly why he decided to leave Szczesny behind, and is likely to hand a first start in more than a year to Lukasz Fabianski. "He has played many games since the start of the season and recently I felt that mentally it affected him, that is why I have decided to rest him," Wenger said.
"(He has been affected) by the number of games he has played. It is his second season only in the Premier League and he has played many games.
"I am always confident before the game that the guy who plays is ready. The players who start our games have no excuse of not being fit or ready."
Wenger maintains this evening's showdown must all be about what his own side can produce and not just down to whether Jupp Heynckes' well-drilled outfit have a rare off day.
"It is difficult to speculate on any weakness in Bayern. The only way we can do is to focus on Bayern being at their best," he said.
"The fact they dominate their championship so much gives everybody a bit more mental strength and the whole team a bit more charisma, the doubt is not there at all.
"But for us the target will be to get some doubt in their minds and that can only come with a quality game."