Arsenal will fear two teams in Champions League, says Rio Ferdinand | Football

Arsenal are riding a five-game winning streak heading into their clash with Porto (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand claims Arsenal have ‘nothing to fear’ outside of Manchester City and Real Madrid in this season’s Champions League.

After a seven-year hiatus, Arsenal returned to Europe’s premier competition with with a second-placed finish in the Premier League behind Pep Guardiola’s rampant City side last term.

The Gunners began their campaign in emphatic fashion, putting four goals past PSV Eindhoven at a noisy Emirates before suffering a setback away to Ligue 1 outfit Lens.

But the north London outfit won three and drew one of their last four remaining matches to cruise through to the knockout phase as Group B victors and Mikel Arteta’s men take on Porto in the first leg of an intriguing last-16 tie tonight.

The Estadio do Dragao clash seemingly arrives at the perfect time for Arsenal, with the club firing on all cylinders after a difficult winter period – winning five straight games in the league before catching their flight on Tueday evening.

‘I think they can go a long way in this tournament,’ Ferdinand – who received some stick from Arsenal fans en route to Portugal – told TNT Sports on the eve of the encounter.

‘As long as they stay away from Man City and Real Madrid until maybe the semis or finals, I think they can get that far.

‘They’ve got nothing to fear outside those two.’

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand

Arsenal ‘can go a long way’ in this year’s Champions League, says Ferdinand (Picture: Getty)

Ferdinand believes Arsenal pose a ‘threat for anyone’ when the likes of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are all fit and firing.

‘Odegaard scoring the other day, a couple of goals. Saka scoring again. Those two creative players can define a match,’ the ex-United and England defender added.

‘When they’re in form, add Martinelli to that, they’re a threat for anyone.’

Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira were both pictured in first-team training on Tuesday after returning from injury. It remains to be seen whether the midfield duo were included the trip to Portugal.

However, there was no sign of injured trio Gabriel Jesus (knee), Takehiro Tomiyasu (niggle) or Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf) during the session at London Colney.

The in-form Gunners will hope to return home from the Estadio do Dragao with an advantage that they can take into the second leg of the round of 16 tie on March 12.

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