The Gunners finished second in their group behind Borussia Dortmund following a 2-0 loss at Napoli. The finish means that Arsene Wenger’s side could potentially draw Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona or PSG in Monday’s draw.
However, Mertesacker believes Arsenal are strong enough to cope with whoever they tie as they have shown they can beat Bayern and Dortmund.
“We got Bayern Munich last year and nearly went through. If you want to achieve something in the Champions League, you have to take every opponent seriously and I think it is better for us when we have a good lot, when there is a draw that we can concentrate on,” he added.
“When you look at the teams that finished top, if you pick one out, for me, I don’t mind.”
“You never know what can happen with a good draw and a serious opponent, you can get so much out of a defeat or a disappointment.”
Arsenal also face a tough league campaign as they travel to Manchester City and are then at home to Chelsea. The German defender said: “It is always difficult especially now after 15 games in the league and the Christmas period is coming.”
“Now everybody is pulling a bit, questioning our group, and if we can maintain that level so we have to stay together and think that ‘yes, we are strong enough’.”
By Phil Wellbrook