Benatia warns Arsenal

Udinese defender confident of securing victory

Benatia: Expects Udinese to win a place in Thursday┬┐s draw for the group phase

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Mehdi Benatia is confident Udinese can overcome Arsenal in their UEFA Champions League play-off tie.

The Italian side impressed in the first leg at Emirates Stadium last week but still lost 1-0 thanks to Theo Walcott's early strike.

Benatia believes the Gunners are lucky to have a lead to take to Udine but feels his side can bounce back to prevail.

"The return match will be more emotional and hard than in London," he told skysports.com. "The two clubs play for their future so they will go to the limit.

"We were superior at the Emirates and the score was not fair. Udinese deserved to score and the Gunners had a lot of luck.

"This has increased our confidence and the dressing room is convinced that Udinese are superior.

"The key for the second match is to dominate the ball and to stop players like Walcott and Van Persie.

"If we do this we will reach the next round of the Champions League."

Big absence

Arsenal have endured a turbulent start to the season, losing 2-0 to Liverpool at the weekend, while Samir Nasri is set to follow Cesc Fabregas out of the exit door.

"I have been a big friend of Nasri for many years, and it will be a big absence for the English," said Benatia.

"With injuries and departures Arsenal are not as powerful and that is an advantage for their rivals.

"I watched their match with Liverpool on TV and the Reds have shown us the way to defeat the Gunners.

"The press considered Arsenal as clear favourite for this tie but we have changed this view and I think Udinese will be in the draw in Monte Carlo."