Former Arsenal star Gilberto Silva has claimed Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez shares a lot of similarities with Barcelona sensation Neymar.

Sanchez and the Brazil international played together at the Camp Nou last season before the Chile international moved to Arsene Wenger's side in the summer of 2014 for £32m ($49m).

And now the pair are set to face each other at the Emirates Stadium on 29 March in an encounter between their national teams.

Silva is looking forward to the reunion of the former colleagues in north London and he says they are very similar.

"They have some similarities, both are really good players, both are quick and have a lot of skill," Silva said.

"Sanchez can be a killer in front of the goal and a nightmare for defenders but Neymar is also doing really well, he is very skilful and can make a difference with every single attack.

"It is really good when you have a game where both sides have these great players that go against each other; they are very attractive and can produce the football people want to watch."

Last season, Sanchez scored 19 La Liga goals for Barcelona while Neymar only netted nine even though, as the Spanish Court recently confirmed, the Catalans paid €95m (£69m, $106m) to secure his services – while they initially said they paid €57.1m.

During the current campaign, the pair are more equal. Neymar has put behind him the number of issues with his transfer to prove to be a sensation in La Liga, netting 17 goals in 22 appearances, while Sanchez has scored 12 for the Gunners in 24 Premier League games.

Another former Brazilian Arsenal star, Edu, also recently compared the pair, claiming Sanchez is not as talented as the Barcelona star.

"It will be great to see these players going up against one another. Both players are supremely talented and it will be a joy to watch for the fans and spectators," he said.

"Neymar, in my opinion, is one of the best players in the world at this present moment but Sanchez is a very good player, only slightly less talented than Neymar but still amazing. It will be great to watch the Brazil versus Chile game just for those two players alone but, having said that, both sides have a lot of talent within the teams."