Thomas Tuchel has warned Arsenal that Bayern Munich “want to cause them pain” in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Emirates Stadium.

The Bayern boss, who managed Chelsea between 2021 and 2022, returns to London to face the Premier League leaders on Tuesday.

Tuchel’s side trail Bundesliga table-toppers Bayer Leverkusen by 16 points after Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Heidenheim.

Despite a lacklustre league campaign, Tuchel insists his team can hurt the Gunners.

“Arsenal are currently the best team in the Premier League and that is deserved, all the data shows that,” Tuchel told a press conference on Monday.

“They are in great form and have been at the highest level for the last two seasons so it’s a massive test for us.

“It’s the second year for them where they’re playing at this really high level, they have so much energy on the pitch and they can keep it for a long time.

“We know about our own strengths and how we want to cause them pain. We know the Champions League is a competition where we have more experience over the last few years. We want to use it to our advantage.”

Arsenal finished fifth during Tuchel’s first full season as Chelsea manager in 2021-22.

Tuchel credited Gunners boss Mikel Arteta as the reason behind their rise in recent years.

“There’s been a complete change in culture since Arteta joined, it is clear what way the club wanted to go with him and the club are harvesting that,” he added.

“It was a difficult start, but the team stood by him and they overcame the difficult phase.

“Tactically they are at a very high level, they are very stable against the ball. You have to give them a big compliment.

“We will try to be strong nonetheless. The style in the Champions League is different to that in the Premier League.”

Former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane worked alongside Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant manager until 2019, at the Etihad Stadium.

Sane credited the current Arsenal boss for developing him as a young player.

He said: “It was great and I was pleased to work with him because he helped me a lot at City. We had some talks about how I can improve in my game, what my weakness and strengths are.

“I think I made huge improvements because of the ideas he had and what he gave to me. I still keep them in my mind.”

Tuesday’s clash will see Bayern’s former Tottenham striker Harry Kane lock horns with the Gunners again, having scored 32 goals in his debut Bundesliga season so far.

And Tuchel believes the England captain will relish his return.

He said: “I think it’s enjoyable for Harry to be here at Arsenal in a quarter-final of the Champions League.

“It will make him very happy to score and I don’t see anything holding him back. Harry always helps you to win. He will help us perform tomorrow.”