Arsenal can surprise Bayern Munich in the Champions League, says former midfielder Gilberto Silva

The growing maturity of the younger players has given the Gunners reason to believe that can end trophy drought

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The Independent Football

Gilberto Silva, the one-time Arsenal midfield anchor, believes his old side can surprise Bayern Munich and knock the reigning champions out of the Uefa Champions League.

Now mainly deployed as a centre-back, the softly-spoken Brazilian is in Morocco to represent Atletico Mineiro at the Club World Cup in Morocco, with the South American champions set to face Bayern in Saturday's final if they can see off Raja Casablanca tonight.

With one eye also trained on developments in North London, the 37-year-old has asked his former teammates to remember how perceived favourites have been overturned in the past.

The pairing of the English league leaders with their Bundesliga counterparts is "similar to when Bayern played Barcelona,” the 37-year-old told The Independent.

“I remember how everyone said Barcelona would win, but Bayern did a very good job and went through.

“Arsenal are having a very good season and they have the quality to progress to the next stage.”

Silva feels the growing maturity of Arsenal's young players, coupled with the contribution being made by transfer signings secured over the last two years, will bring success both in Europe and domestically.

“Because Arsenal are a young team they are always getting stronger and stronger.

“They have brought in players with the quality to make a difference on their own and for the team as a whole.”

With Arsenal having not won a trophy since he left the club, Silva can claim a certain authority on just what it is that makes the difference in the pursuit of honours.

Arsene Wenger's side top the table