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Wenger confident Arsenal could take Real

AAP logoAAP 9/12/2016

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed his side to beat holders Real Madrid if they get paired with the Spanish outfit in Monday's draw for the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Gunners advanced to the knockout stages as group winners for the first time since 2012 after beating Basel 4-1 in Switzerland on Tuesday night.

Theoretically, topping the group gives a team an advantage as they face a side who progressed in second position.

But, despite Arsenal breaking their hoodoo, they could still land a tricky tie - with Madrid among the possible opponents - as they look to get into the quarter-finals for the first time in six years.

Last season's Europa League winners Sevilla are another possibility, along with German pair Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen and Portuguese giants Benfica and Porto.

Arsenal face Stoke at home in the Premier League on Saturday before attention turns to the draw in Nyon and, with Wenger's side having lost just twice in all competitions so far this season, he insists the Gunners can beat anyone.

"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'," Wenger said.

"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."

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