Bendtner: Gunners can beat Barca

The Gunners go head-to-head with the Spanish giants when European

action resumes this week with the first leg of their last-16

showdown taking place at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening. Pep

Guardiola’s star-studded outfit saw off the Premier League side in

the competition last term, drawing 2-2 in North London before

cruising to a 4-1 success at Camp Nou in their quarter-final

meeting. Barca are favourites to progress once again, but Danish

striker Bendtner believes that if Arsenal play to their full

potential they can be a match for any side. “We have to fancy our

chances this time because we can beat anyone on our day. We have

shown that,” Bendtner said. “I would like to think we are one of

the few teams that can match Barcelona for pure football skill, but

you have to give a lot of credit to them for the way they are

always so positive. “We know they are magnificent, an unbelievable

team, but we have great players as well – and the way we play is

very similar to them. We pass the ball like them so we must have a

chance. “There are two or three players in our team who would have

a chance of getting into the Barcelona side, I feel sure about

that, and all the lads are fired up to make sure we play to our

potential. If we do that we have a chance, especially at the

Emirates.” Striker Bendtner found the net away to Barca last term,

but his effort was a mere consolation as the magical Lionel Messi

struck four times for the hosts, including a first-half hat-trick.

And the Gunners man knows Arsene Wenger’s side cannot simply focus

on stopping the Argentina international, such is the wealth of

talent on show in the Catalan club’s squad. He added: “Messi is the

best player in the world – he scores all the time and no one can

match him. “But they have so many great players and, when you go

through their team, there is not one player who you would say is

not world class so we know it is going to be a really tough game.

“You see how they play and it is a pure joy all the time. They are

on a great run and it’s going to be a massive game. But the key

thing this time is that we will hopefully have a more or less full

squad. “Any team needs their best players against a side as good as

Barcelona and we are no different. This time I can promise it will

be a different game – it was pleasing to score in the Nou Camp last

time but I want the feeling of scoring and winning.”