Nicklas Bendtner believes Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea could have a Champions League feel to it.
The two high-fliers in the Premier League go head-to-head in a fourth-round encounter at Emirates Stadium, and Bendtner says that tactical as well as mental preparation will be key.
“You know when it’s two big teams going up against each other, it can go either way,” he told the matchday programme. “It’s almost like the Champions League, in the sense it’s a cup game where you have to be very well prepared tactically and mentally.
Read more from Nicklas in the official matchday programme
“The key moments are the first five or 10 minutes of each half. A lot of goals get scored at those times because the motivation and concentration tends to drop at those times. So whoever plays, it’s very important that they are really focused at those times especially.”
Bendtner played his first game for the Gunners for more than two years in the last round of the Capital One Cup, and he says it has been a smooth transition back into the first-team squad after his loan spells at Sunderland and Juventus.
“I’ve always known the Club well, so there was no difficult adaptation period," he said. "The main thing was to get back to fitness, and get playing. I’m there now, so then you push for more.
"When the team is playing well, you know you have to take your opportunities when they come along.”