Thomas Vermaelen confident Arsenal can send AC Milan packing

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is backing the Gunners to emerge victorious from their Champions League tie with AC Milan

thomas vermaelen
Thomas Vermaelen has made 24 appearances for Arsenal this term Photo: Paul Blank

thomas vermaelen

Thomas Vermaelen is confident Arsenal can knock out AC Milan and reach the Champions League quarter-finals ahead of the last-16 first leg at the San Siro on Wednesday.

Cesc Fàbregas and Emmanuel Adebayor both scored in Milan as the Gunners beat the Serie A side at the same stage of the 2007-08 competition – and Vermaelen is convinced the Gunners can repeat the feat this time around.

“We are all really excited,” Vermaelen, 26, told Arsenal’s website. “It is a big game – an important one too – so it’s a good one to look forward to. For everybody it will be special so it will be a great evening.

“Of course they have a great history and they have won it a few times. They still have some good players and they are a solid team. They are also doing well in Serie A. It won’t be easy but I am confident that we can qualify.

“The San Siro is a great stadium of course and it will be a great evening. I think it is probably the best game of the round and a lot of people will be watching.”

Pre-match facts: AC Milan v Arsenal

• The encounter four years ago, when Milan were the defending champions, was the teams’ first in the Champions League.

• The Gunners have won just three of their last 12 European games on the road, including the play-off victory at Udinese.

• Milan have collected nine yellow cards, the joint lowest total of the teams in the last 16 along with Barcelona.

• Yossi Benayoun’s goal against Olympiakos on matchday six was the Gunners’ 250th in the European Cup.

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