Arsenal vs Barcelona – UEFA Champions League – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

Arsenal vs Southampton

Arsenal hosts Barcelona at the Emirates in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 fixture on 23rd February, Tuesday. The holders Barcelona are the firm favorites for this fixture, with Arsene Wenger admitting his side might fall short to the might of Messi and co.

Barcelona won Group C comprehensively with fourteen points during the round-robin stage while Arsenal finished second in Group F with nine points. Arsenal would aim to prevent a rehash of last season when the Gunners were eliminated by French club Monaco at the first knockout stage. They lost 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium before going out on away goals after a 2-0 win in the second leg.

Team News

Gabriel Paulista (hamstring), Tomas Rosicky (thigh muscle strain), Santi Cazorla (knee), Mikel Arteta  and Jack Wilshere (calf muscle) are sidelined for the hosts through injuries. Barcelona will be without Rafinha (cruciate ligament rupture) and Arda Turan who is suspended.

Arsenal Possible Starting Lineup: Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud.

Barcelona Possible Starting Lineup: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar.

Thoughts From Both Camps

“Barcelona are super favourites in this game. No team is perfect, although they are not far from it Barcelona, I must say. But we have a good opportunity to show that we have learned.

Therefore we have to find the right balance between being audacious, because that’s what we will need to be against Barcelona, and being strong defensively as a unit and not put ourselves in front of a very difficult task in the second leg.”

– Arsene Wenger, Arsenal.

“I’m delighted to be part of this team, which never tires of winning. It is very easy to coach these players. Everyone is aware of what the objectives are. Having this front three [of Messi, Suarez and Neymar] fills me with pride. The rest of us do what we can to make them better.”

– Luis Enrique, Barcelona.

Contributor’s Pick

According to Head-2-Head statistics, Arsenal have won 20% and lost 60% of their encounters with Barcelona. Barcelona are undefeated in their last seven matches in the UEFA Champions League and have scored a minimum of two goals in their previous six matches against Arsenal in all competitions. The Catalan club will start as favorites and are likely to win the first leg 3-1.

KENYA masiga28 arsenal 2-bercelona 1.welbeck and walcot scores alongside suarez.messi wont score same to neimar.that is all.
KENYA Nellie Arsenal case do great and win narrowly.
NIGERIA DJMC Arsenal will start as favourite! And will win 2-1.
KENYA Buhula Your thoughts?HTFTx2
KENYA lawrenceoduya BARCA WILL CARRY THE DAY

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