Udinese ready for fight

Handanovic not taking notice of Arsenal absentees

Handanovic: Ready for a fight as Udinese look to knock out Arsenal

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Samir Handanovic has no intention of taking Arsenal lightly despite the absence of key players but is still confident Udinese can prevail.

The draw for the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League was not kind to Udinese, with the Gunners having gained considerable experience of Europe's premier competition under Arsene Wenger.

However, goalkeeper Handanovic is looking forward to Tuesday's first leg at the Emirates Stadium as he targets a result that will give Udinese the opportunity to finish the job on home soil next week.

Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie are both suspended for Arsenal, while Jack Wilshere is injured and Cesc Fabregas' switch to Barcelona has been completed.

"The Gunners are dangerous even with absences or blows in their squad," Handanovic told skysports.com. "They are one of the big clubs in Europe and that is not by luck.

"It would be a big mistake for us to believe that the English have reduced power by their absences. We go to the match for the fight."


Handanovic added: "Nobody wanted Arsenal as a rival but the draw is done. The English team is perhaps the most dangerous in this round but football is never clear and don't discard the surprise.

"The key? The match in London and to obtain a good score to decide it in Udinese. This is possible but we need to rediscover the level of last season."

Handanovic maintains that Udinese remain a strong team despite the departure of their own star player, Alexis Sanchez, who has also joined Barcelona this summer.

"People are now speaking about the sale of Alexis Sanchez but Udinese were not only about the Chilean forward," he explained.

"Our success last season was based on work and sacrifice."