Per Mertesacker is not scared of facing the cream of Europe in the Champions League, because it can be beneficial.
Arsenal will take on Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain or Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the competition after being pipped to top spot in Group F by Borussia Dortmund.
At first glance it appears the Gunners have made life hard for themselves after losing 2-0 at Napoli on Wednesday, but Mertesacker points out that last season's 2-0 victory at Bayern kicked off a sequence of nine wins in 11 matches.
"I think it is better for us when we have a good lot, when there is a draw that we can concentrate on"
"It is the same as last year," he said. "We got Bayern Munich last year and nearly went through.
"If you want to achieve something in the Champions League, you have to take every opponent seriously and I think it is better for us when we have a good lot, when there is a draw that we can concentrate on.
"When you look at the teams that finished top, if you pick one out, for me, I don’t mind. We want to go for it this season… we got a good result at Munich last season and after that we played a fantastic season.
"You never know what can happen with a good draw and a serious opponent - you can get so much out of a defeat or a disappointment. I hope that we learn a lot from [the Napoli game] and we are aware of the next opponent."
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.