Gunners Put to the Test

Henry and Van Persie have formed a strong partnership. Image courtesy of: uefa.com
Arsenal can be the third English side in as many seasons to knock out Italian team AC Milan in the round of 16 stage of the Champions League. Arsenal will be confident of causing an upset over the star-studded Italians after knocking them out of the competition four years ago, the year after Milan were crowned Europe’s best club.

The Gunners head into the match in great form, fresh from a 2-1 away win against Sunderland and a 7-1 thrashing of Blackburn in the Premier League. Journeyman Thierry Henry is likely be on the bench in what will be the Frenchmen’s final match for his beloved Gunners before heading back to play for the New York Red Bulls. Arsenal will be strengthened by the return of Johan Djourou and Kieren Gibbs who have both been missing from action in recent weeks.

Milan will be wary of Arsenal’s attacking strengths with the likes of Robin Van Persie and Aaron Ramsey both firing up front however they too feature strike power galore with Zlatan Ibrahimović and Pato who are both familiar with finding the back of the net when it matters. The Italians recent form has been patchy securing a late 2-1 win against Udinese and losing 2-0 in to Lazio recent weeks.

In Thursday morning’s other Round of 16 encounter Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg host Portuguese side Benfica. The Portuguese outfit enter the match with an imposing European record losing only one out of their past nine away matches. 

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