Bendtner can gun down Barca - Wenger

06 April 2010 06:32
Arsene Wenger feels Nicklas Bendtner can give Arsenal "something different" as they look for a shock Champions League victory over Barcelona.[LNB] Wenger openly admits the Gunners are lucky to still have a chance of progress to the semi-finals after they were completely dominated by the holders during the opening stages of the first leg before somehow salvaging a 2-2 draw.[LNB]Arsenal were already missing captain Cesc Fabregas, who suffered a cracked bone in his leg when winning the late penalty which levelled the tie, as well as centre-back William Gallas and Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin, and yesterday lost midfielder Alex Song to a knee problem.[LNB]However, Wenger maintains his team have what it takes to produce a performance on one of Europe's biggest stages.[LNB]Barcelona's central-defensive pair Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are both suspended - a tactical advantage Denmark striker Bendtner could be able to exploit.[LNB]The 22-year-old netted a vital stoppage-time winner to beat Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, continuing his decent form after a hat-trick against Porto in the last round of the Champions League.[LNB]While Bendtner - who missed a good chance with a close-range header in the first leg - is often criticised for not being clinical enough in front of goal, Wenger has every confidence in the big Dane.[LNB]"He is important because he gives us something different," said the Arsenal manager.[LNB]"Bendtner has size, is good in the air, on crosses you have hope with him.[LNB]"When people told us you have no Plan B he gives us a little bit - we always want to play football, but he gives us an option in the air that we did not have without him."[LNB]Theo Walcott is expected to be in the starting XI tonight, having impressed when he came off the bench at Emirates Stadium.[LNB]The introduction of the England winger helped turn the match, as Barca full-back Maxwell was unable to live with his pace.[LNB]Walcott slotted in an impressive individual goal before a late penalty from captain Cesc Fabregas levelled a dramatic tie.[LNB]Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was full of praise for the impact of the 21-year-old, who produced an efficient display when restored to the starting XI against Wolves.[LNB]Walcott would like nothing more than to be given another chance to impress against the European champions.[LNB]"As a winger, an attacking player, you always have to be on the front foot. Hopefully I can get at them and will give them a problem," Walcott said.[LNB]"If I can create space for some of the others, then that is all part of my job.[LNB]"It is a nice thing to have people talking good things - I just have to do it on the pitch."[LNB]Despite their injury problems, Wenger firmly believes Arsenal have what it takes to progress.[LNB]"At 2-0 down in the first leg, I felt we needed a miracle, but always had hope. I know this team will never give up," Wenger said.[LNB]"The players know they escaped being out of the competition and we have a chance which we have to take.[LNB]"It is Easter and we have to resuscitate [resurrect] - that is what we want to do at the Nou Camp."

Source: Team_Talk