Football News

Vermaelen upbeat despite tough draw

Created on 21 Dec., 2012 4:04 PM GMT

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen believes his side are still capable of winning the Champions League if they can find consistency.

The English Premier League side will face Bayern Munich, who are nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, in February in the last 16.

The tougher pairing comes after Arsene Wenger's men failed to finish top of their group.

But Vermaelen believes the level of quality in the competition means that no tie would have been easy and the north London side can improve their faltering form ahead of the first leg.

"It's a tough one but we knew before (that) it doesn't matter who we drew, it will always be a tough one, especially in the Champions League," the 27-year-old told Arsenal Player.

"Bayern Munich are doing well in the German league. They are in first spot so it won't be easy but I'm looking forward to the game.

"There's less than two months to go (until) the first game so a lot of things can happen with the team, positively and negatively.

"We'll see at that time how it goes. I'm confident we can get the result if we have a good day.

"Most of the time in the Premier League, the one that's the most consistent wins the league. The Champions League is a tournament. Anything can happen.

"It's only about two games, one an away game. You need a bit of luck in the tournament as well so we'll see how far we can get."

Ominously for the Premier League team, Bayern marched through the qualification phase with just one loss and scoring 15 goals – a joint-high for the stage along with Real Madrid.

Vermaelen's defensive partner, Per Mertesacker, feels the Londoners have ample time to prepare for the clash and get into a 'rhythm' before the tie.

"We will face a good team in Germany," the former Werder Bremen defender said. "They are top of their league and went through to the knockout stage in a phenomenal way.

"Maybe it's a good opportunity for us to face them in February because we will be in our rhythm. We will hopefully go through the Christmas period in a strong way. We can do that.

"We have to be consistent until then. We have to show that it's not only our potential which makes us a good side. We have to get good results until the next Champions League game.

"It's a long period for us and the German teams have a little break and a little rest. We will see what happens in February. But we hope we can get into a good rhythm to face them."