Arsenal clash with AC Milan in the first leg of the last 16 stage in the UEFA Champions League at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday and although the stakes are high for both clubs, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is eager to test his talented but young bunch of Gunners against the more established and more famous stars of world footballers, players who also seem to have won the Champions League last season.
We’re in the position of challengers but Milan are the holders. They have quality and experience. We are a team who can challenge and beat them, so we want to be at our best. More than showing a reaction to the Manchester United game, we want to play as we know we can play, and Wednesday gives us a good chance to do that.
The targets we have in front of us – the Premier League and the Champions League – are massive and we are in a very good position. Now, everything will come down to quality. The knockout phase of the Champions League is a completely different competition from the group stages. Every goal can become decisive, which is not the case during the group matches.
It is really difficult to say who are the favourites for this particular side but good, entertaining, attractive and attacking football is guaranteed by both sides who boast players like Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor between them. For the first leg though, the Gunners will be the marginal favourites since they have a number of key players back from injury and will confront a still depleted Milan side.
Yet Milan have ace playmaker Kaka back from a knee problem and Arsene Wenger needs to check the 25-year old Brazilian first.