Arsenal have a herculean task ahead of them as they play host to the treble winners on February 23rd. The Gunners need to deliver exceptional performances over the two legs in order to stand a chance.
Barca’s attacking trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar is being regarded as one of the most lethal partnerships the world has ever seen. They have all been prolific in front of goal and Luis Enrique couldn’t have hoped for a better attacking line-up. Arsene Wenger will need a game plan to counter the attacking threat the Catalan giants offer or they can even end up realizing the futility of their resurgence in the group stage.
The injury crisis at the North London club is getting better as they have most of their important players back from the treatment room. Still, Cazorla and Koscielny are two first team players who are sorely missed at Arsenal.
The last time these two sides met was in the round of 16 in 2010/11 season where Pep Guardiola led Barcelona defeated Arsenal 3 – 1 at Camp Nou. The Spanish giants won 4 – 3 on aggregate as Arsene Wenger’s men managed a 2 – 1 win at the Emirates. The Premier League giants will hope for a similar result but it seems highly unlikely given the form of the La Liga champions.
The defending European champions have won three and drawn one of their last five fixtures against the Gunners. The visitors on Tuesday also have a better form going into the game. They have won four and drawn one of their last five games in contrast to Arsenal who have won three and lost one.
Barca have made it to the knock-out stages for the 12th consecutive time while Arsenal are the only team alongside Real Madrid to have reached the knock-out stage each year since the introduction of the new format in 2003/04.
Barcelona are the heavy favourites to win the clash at the Emirates and are being tipped to go through to the quarter-finals but the Gunners certainly can’t be ruled out before the ball is even kicked at the Emirates.
It’s hard to see past a barcelona victory. The odds are a bit skinny on the Barca win so let’s chance them winning both halves.
Barcelona to win both Halves, Best Odds 2.7 @ 888Sport