Wenger gives backing to Bendtner

Arsene Wenger has every confidence in Nicklas Bendtner - and hopes the young Denmark striker can help fire Arsenal into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with victory over Porto tonight.

The 22-year-old missed a string of golden chances during the 3-1 Barclays Premier League win over Burnley on Saturday.

Bendtner - just back from a three-month injury lay-off - is well-known for his confidence, and was able to smile as he was replaced late on in the match, his poor finishing fortunately not proving costly in the final outcome.

Wenger, though, sees no reason to think the young striker will not soon be back among the goals.

"I believe he is on the way up in his game and in terms of his contribution," said the Arsenal manager, whose side must do without captain Cesc Fabregas as they look to overturn a 2-1 deficit if they are to progress into the last eight.

"He missed some big chances on Saturday, but that is needed for any young striker at some stage.

"He looks at why he missed the chances and gets it right in the next game."

Wenger added: "Nicklas is really improving at the moment. That was just an isolated game.

"In every competition you always have something to prove and show how good you are.

"He has a good mental strength and, even if he was disappointed with the chances he missed, it will not diminish his desire and confidence to going to the next game."

Arsenal have not overturned a first-leg deficit in European competition since the UEFA Cup tie against Hajduk Split in 1978, the Gunners going out of the Champions League to Bayern Munich (2004/2005), PSV Eindhoven (2006/2007) and last season Manchester United after losing away.

Wenger, though, maintains tonight will be different, as Sol Campbell's goal in Porto could prove crucial.

"There is always something new in our game and we have a good opportunity to change history," he said.

"This team has a good chance to make history. This is a very young team and we want to win.

"We have scored away from home which is still a massive advantage, and that is why were are confident we can do it."

Porto were thrashed 4-0 on their last visit to Emirates Stadium during September 2008, their worst away reverse in the competition.

Wenger feels that result will have no bearing when the Portuguese side return to north London.

He said: "I do not think anyone will be complacent.

"We know it will be a tricky game, but we believe we can do it.

"We have good confidence, we are in a good position, so let's go for it."

Should Porto net an away goal, then the scenario of a penalty shoot-out would be on.

Arsenal needed spot-kicks to progress at this stage of the competition last season against Roma.

Wenger, though, did not set up a penalty session yesterday.

"We always practice penalties in training, but not the day before a game because it can have negative influences if you miss," he said.

"However let's see the game in a positive way. We hope we will qualify without penalties."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map