The two managers face off on Tuesday night as the Spaniard's undefeated Napoli side travel to north London to take on the Gunners in their Champions League group clash
The Spanish boss had an interim stint at Stamford Bridge last season, leading the Blues to Europa League glory, but was heavily criticised and never accepted by the west London club's supporters.
Asked if Benitez was given a rough ride at Chelsea, Wenger replied: "Yes. People were tough with him because they didn't expect him to go to Chelsea but he did very well. He dealt well with it.
Benitez was appointed at the Stadio San Paolo in the summer and has yet to see his side lose this season, and Wenger is anticipating a tough encounter against a familiar foe.
"I think he is a top-class manager," the Frenchman continued. "He has proven that. So when you are confronted with his teams you know it will always be difficult.
"But we are up for it and we have the confidence to do it.
"Our home form will be important, we have taken three points away from home. We know away from home we are in good form as well so I believe our home matches against all three teams will be important."
Arsenal sit top of the Premier League after taking 15 points from six matches, but Wenger described talk of his team being favourites for the Premier League title so early in the season as "ridiculous".
"I think that our job most importantly is to find a balance between ambition and humility," he added.
"Ambition of course because we want to win but humility as well because we have only played six games. So to talk about the title today is absolutely ridiculous.
"What we have done is just what we want to do, to continue the same ambition. I think the team has a good humility level and is keen to improve." -------------------- goal.com