Monday, May 20, 2024

Wenger: We can beat Real Madrid if we draw them

Arsene Wenger says qualifying from the first knockout round of the Champions League for the first time in six year is yet another inconvenient fact that Arsenal have to overcome, no matter who they draw on Monday

Tuesday’s 4-1 win in Basel, coupled with PSG’s slip up against Ludogorets, ensured the Gunners progressed as winners from Group A but could still be paired with holders Real Madrid, German champions Bayern Munich and Europa League holders Sevilla, amongst others.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of the Gunners Premier League encounter with Stoke City, the boss refused to cede ground in the mind games stakes by stressing his belief that his squad can beat any side in Europe.

“You look at the teams you can get, some look more prestigious, more difficult, and you would like me to say, ‘I do not want this or that’. But that will already put us in an inferior position if it happens.

“Yes, you can take Real Madrid as maybe a favourite to win, because they are the holders of the competition.

“But even against Real Madrid, we’ll have a chance to qualify and we’ll have to do the absolute maximum to achieve that.

“It’s another inconvenient fact for us that we haven’t qualified for the quarter-final for six years. That will be a huge challenge for my group but I’m sure we will relish that.”

The draw is due to take place at 11am on Monday meaning the boss will be out on the training pitches of London Colney. He admits he takes comfort from not having to pay attention to the goings on in Switzerland.

“I prefer to be on the pitch rather than being nervous in front of the television!

He added: “I don’t know who decides the luck but I haven’t found the way to speak to this person!”

If you’re worried about who we might draw, it’s best to look away now. The stats are not very pretty. That said, we did draw and beat Real on our way to the final in 2006…it would be lovely to do it again.

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This article is from the future! Or I’ve got a bit of time lag. It’s still Thursday in Manchester.


Oh dear. I let my inner pedant out there.


How do Coral come up with those probabilities? If the draw is as random as it is supposed to be, then each outcome is supposed to equally likely… in which case we’ll probably draw Bayern.


I think it’s all about which other teams can’t draw each other like we can’t draw City or PSG. So Bayern can’t draw Dortmund or Atletico. Real Can’t draw Dortmund, Barcelona or Atletico etc.


Such luck doesn’t apply to the arsenal except Monaco but one can remain hopeful


That’s true, I’d forgotten those rules. We’ll still draw Bayern though.


In addition, as the draw progresses, the number of available opponents for each team drops differently, depending upon who’s been drawn so far. The actual math gets pretty complicated.


I actually do think we can beat them. I’m more scared of Sevilla and Porto etc. Those sorts of teams always cause us problems.


I agree. Sevilla has been a veritable wall this group stage…


My thoughts exactly. I rather face an Anchelotti’s Bayern than face Sevilla. They have beaten Barça and given Real trouble in La Liga. I think we can beat Porto and the rest. I just don’t Arsenal to play Real next round.


In the last 10 matches played against Barca, Sevilla has won 1, drawn 1 and lost 8. They are a good team but no better than Bayern or RM. In Spain the running commentary is that Zidane has a lot of “flor”, which would loosely translate as incredible luck, they have played some really dire football yet they’ve won matches.
On our day, we can beat any team, but we sometimes sell ourselves short, let’s hope this is our season.


“…translate as incredible luck…”

Well, either that or his kitchen’s enormous and he’s bought some new linoleum…


Been thinking rather than bayern I’d rather real coz as great as they are at set pieces and counter attacking football they are equally as awful at the back but under Zidane they are more practical than they normally are.

Imagine :

Ronaldo v bellerin
Walcott v Marcelo
Sanchez v Ramos
Ozil v caseimiro
Kronos v Xhaka
Monreal v Bale… That terrifies me. Due to to ball’s impressive attributes and tenacity.

It could be quite a cracker.

For once I’d love us not to concede an away goal or concede less away goals than our rivals.


Bale is injured so chill


He will be back by then


4 months from end of November – good luck


How the hell do they come up with those percentages? The relative temperature of all balls being equal of course.




See my reply to Zeus above

Norfolkin Chance

It’s based on which team’s can’t play others ie Bayern can’t face Dortmund so it makes it slightly more likely they’ll play us, comparatively Porto can play anyone but Leicester.


You would have thought in their luxury air conditioned room, that all balls would be at a nice even comfortable temperature… or maybe not.

Dial Square

Probability theory

Petit's Handbag

What’s hilarious about the probabilities is that they’re in the exact order of who i wouldn’t want.


Not a coincidence. As group winners, we are always more likely to be drawn against a team from a country from which there are many teams who have won their group. Countries with a lot of teams in the competition and a lot of teams capable of winning their group are basically Spain and Germany. For example, the more Spanish teams that win their group, the fewer possible opponents Real Madrid (having finished 2nd) will have. And the fewer possible opponents other than Arsenal Real Madrid have, the more likely they are to draw Arsenal.


So apparently its friday…. If we want to life the champions league then we have to beat them all.


Isn’t that the point of the knockout rounds, i.e. we don’t have to beat them all, because the other teams in the other matches will beat their opponents. We only have to beat the ones we’re actually drawn against.


Watch at how uefa mess up and we draw Barcelona


? ? ? ? ? ? ?

A Different George

Air-conditioned ball.


With both legs away, of course. And both halves played uphill on a muddy pitch.

Dial Square

Tough luck for Cuntalona, we can beat them



David C

to be the best you have to beat the best! Bring on any of them! They finished 2nd in their group, none of these guys are Invincible.

Remember who we beat on the way to the 2006 CL final?


I’d still prefer Leverkusen out of the probables. Thankful that dortmund finished top of their group, as I wasn’t looking forward to us drawing them in this round.


I’d take Sevilla

Lord Bendtner

UEFA chief One: The draws are in. We’re putting Arsenal up against Barcelona.
UEFA chief Two: uhh but Arsenal topped, so they can’t face Barcelona
UEFA chief One: Hmm okay Arsenal vs Bayern
UEFA Chief Two: Yea that sounds go..
UEFA Chief One: ..and if they beat Bayern, we make them play Barcelona in a third leg to decide to let them throigh the the quarters
UEFA Chief Two: But that makes no s..

*hangs up*

Laugh at me if u want, but that’s how it’s gonna go down, u wait n see

Teryima Adi

We can beat anybody. There is no need to take to the field dreading any opponent. COYG!

Doug Cole

Agree, in our current form I will take us against any of these teams

Gus Caesar

I want Benfica. I still haven’t got over Isaías in 1991 and revenge is a dish best served extremely cold.

Parisian Weetabix

So we can only beat Madrid “if we draw them”? Ugh, there’s always a catch with Wenger. He’s already making excuses for we don’t draw them and then subsequently don’t beat them. When are we going to get a positive manager who believes we can beat teams we don’t draw, who will arrange mid-season friendlies against teams like Madrid so we can beat them anyway? It’s this kind of negative attitude that’s ruining our club, Wenger out.


I don’t know what any of this means. And I’ve read it a few times.

Mikko Saurio

Fairly sure it’s a joke about the multiple meanings of the word draw. I thought Mr P. Weetabix was quite funny here.

Mikko Saurio

Read it again and no, it’s not about the double meaning of the word draw. Still quite funny, mind.


I want Leicester to get Real Madrid. It’s only fair.


Real have an impressive record so far this season but they were so undisciplined defensively against Dortmund. It makes the prospect of facing them much less daunting in my opinion. For instance, they were protecting a lead in the 88th minute and the left back was dispossessed 100 yards from goal, then one pass and boom, it was a 2 v 0 the other way. There must have been 7 players in the box waiting for Marcelo to cross. That’s exactly the type of team we can beat with pace up top…and let’s face it – we’re going to have… Read more »

I only signed up so I could comment on this article

I wouldn’t be surprised if the draw was slightly rigged. UEFA are equally corrupt as FIFA. I remember a couple of years ago when the rehearsal draw was the exact same as the real thing. Still don’t think that was a coincidence. We have been in this competition for years and this is the first year we’ve got any luck so fingers crossed…..


Real look beatable although obviously still very strong. It would be a major boost if we could take them out.

If we keep playing the way we are we can beat anybody. Bring it on.

Aran Watson

Our current squad has more style, metal and swagger than any side we’ve had in years. It was not long ago when everyone feared us in the Champions League, and I for one believe no one wants to draw us in the next round. That’s what matters most to me, that we recognize our capacity to beat anyone this time around. Up the Gunners!


Nearly 40% chance of Bayern or Real. That’s all I can see.

Wenger's Philosophy Teacher

And that means there’s a 6/10 chance it’s neither. I’ll have my cup more than half full rather than less than half empty. 🙂

Wenger's Philosophy Teacher

(other than corruption we’ll draw Barcelona somehow etc. etc. yes, I know…)


There’s too much hype on Arsenal when we win a game. Makes losing harder to swallow, just wish everyone just chilled a bit. Come match day everyone are predicting a win with score lines. Just bloody chill people.

sixteen swans over ainola

Not only can we beat RM, but Bayern shouldn’t be a problem either. The point is, most days, we are well capable of beating all the second-placed teams given the advantage of playing the second leg at home. Thereafter lies the problem especially when luck rears its taunting head. A quarter-final tie against Leicester. A semi-final against Sevilla. And we’re all set to play Dortmund in the final. All we’ll need then is for Eyjafjallajkull to erupt again: forcing the Germans to travel by bus (there is precedent), who then arrive in Cardiff both grumpy and knackered, only to lose… Read more »


Is it a coincidence that the teams we are most likely to draw are the stronger ones?


Lady luck smiling on us again



Mach iii

Arsenal is the greatest team in the history of the game.

We will take pleasure in mauling out the hearts of real or bayern.

Mustapha Kacka

Not one team in the draw will be wanting to get Arsenal, not one of them! I think it’s our time chaps COYG

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