By Nick Ames

Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal will face a team in their own image when Schalke line up at Emirates Stadium tonight.

The German centre back rates his countrymen highly, and says that their style of football will make for an interesting Champions League contest.

“They are on a good run,” Mertesacker told the Official Matchday Programme.

“I know their players quite well, as I played in the Bundesliga for more than six years. They have a few new players, like Ibrahim Afellay, and we know the kind of threat we’ll see from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Jefferson Farfan.

“They’re a good side technically and pass well - the way they play is similar to our own game, and that means it’s going to be interesting. We’re looking forward to this game because we have a good opportunity to strengthen our position in the group. Three wins out of three would look nice for us at the halfway stage.”

Mertesacker featured in the 1-0 defeat at Norwich on Saturday evening, and admits that the Gunners were nowhere near their best on the day. He hopes that the setback sparks Arsenal into life from this evening onwards.

“We didn’t seem as aggressive or dangerous as usual, especially where our passing was concerned,” he said.

“We couldn’t get ourselves into the final third to create good goalscoring situations, and didn’t really have a lot of opportunities. We have to make sure we come back in a better and stronger way.”

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24 Oct 2012