'Macho' man Nasri eyes Barca
Bendtner also believes he has improved since last season
Last Updated: March 3, 2011 9:41pm
Nasri: Feeling confident
Samir Nasri believes a 'macho' Arsenal squad have a golden opportunity to eliminate Barcelona from the UEFA Champions League.
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Arsene Wenger takes his team to Camp Nou next Tuesday with a 2-1 aggregate lead going into the second leg of their last-16 tie.
Arsenal were thrashed 6-3 on aggregate by Barcelona in last season's Champions League and will have bad memories of a punishing 4-1 second-leg hammering.
But Nasri thinks he and his team-mates have matured since they were demolished by Lionel Messi, Xavi and company in the 2009/10 quarter-finals.
The Frenchman said: "Barcelona seemed much better last year because we've become more macho, both physically and psychologically.
"Some of the players are much better this year than before - Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, myself.
"We've all stepped up and become stronger and more macho. Players have stepped up and driven the team forward. We can compete with everyone now.
"We approached the game differently this time because last year we were a little bit scared of Barcelona."
Arsenal face Sunderland at the weekend before travelling to Spain and they will go into Saturday on the back of a 5-0 win over Leyton Orient in the FA Cup.
Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick in the one-sided cup contest and he thinks he is finding form at just the right time.
"I believe now I am getting back to where I belong, and there are still improvements," he said.
"It is going well, but we are a team and it will be the team which wins in Barcelona, not just one player."