Arsene Wenger ready for Barcelona showdown

ITN News

by ITN News

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Arsene Wenger has fired a warning shot to Barcelona saying his team will fight to the bitter end in their bid to over turn the odds in the Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Nou Camp.

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 salvaging a 2-2 draw.

Arsenal won't be helped by injuries, captain Cesc Fabregas suffered a cracked bone in his leg when winning the late penalty which levelled the first leg, William Gallas and Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin are also out.

Wenger could also be out with a hamstring problem, Mickael Silvestre is on standby to replace him.

However, Wenger maintains his team have what it takes to produce a performance on one of Europe's biggest stages.

Barcelona's central-defensive pair Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are both suspended - a tactical advantage that the manager thinks his striker Nicklas Bendtner could exploit.

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.

Speaking at a press conference Wenger said: "He is important because he gives us something different.

"Bendtner has size, is good in the air, on crosses you have hope with him.

"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."