Wenger nonchalantly predicted that we would get Barcelona in the round of 16; and we did get them. Most will be dreading the outcome, but in terms of football, it will be a masterpiece. We certainly will be the underdogs but let’s not forget we can beat anyone on our day. We have always been written off in such matches, remember AC Milan and Real Madrid, and we have always surprised the world. Let’s hope we put up a great show when the time comes as Wenger puts it very nicely that it will be difficult but possible.
All teams are difficult to play at this stage and Wenger wasn’t hoping for any particular team. Although Schalke would have been an easier opposition in comparison to Barcelona, who, certainly are the favorites to win the Champions League.
“My reaction is very simple – difficult but possible.
I didn’t want anybody really, in that all teams would have been difficult. You could have said that Schalke – a team with less history in the Champions League – would have been easier maybe. But the advantage is that we will be on our toes and we’ll be ready.
Barcelona are certainly the favourites [for the competition] and a famous team but, on their side, they did not want us either because they know they will get a game.”
With almost two months to the tie, Wenger said that he can’t say much on the match and how they will approach it. As far as the team is concerned they will be ready to face Barcelona when the time comes. At the moment Stoke is the priority for Wenger. Wenger although doesn’t have revenge on his minds as he only wants to qualify by knocking Barca out.
We have a realistic chance too as most of our injured players will be back to playing their best by then and we have done improvements in most areas from last year.
Wenger feels that the best possible way to beat them will be to build up confidence by doing well in the Premier League, Carling Cup and FA cup.
“Revenge is not on my mind. We want to qualify and we want to knock them out. So is it difficult? Yes. Is it possible? Yes.
I think we are better than last year and we have a good opportunity to show that. I won’t come out on [how we will make it a different game]. What is on my mind right now is Stoke tomorrow more than Barcelona.
We are in the middle of December and we play at the end of February. So there is a long way to go.
It is too early to speak about this game concretely. You can just speak about the draw. The whole context might be completely different in two months. We don’t know what we will do and how we will feel.
But the best way of going into that game with confidence is down to what we do from today until then. If we do well in the League, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup that will give us the best chance of knocking them out.”