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Barcelona vs Arsenal: Match Preview

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As if Arsene Wenger’s job couldn’t get any harder, he and his side face a tough trip to Spain to face European champions Barcelona. The Gunners suffered yet another defeat, which saw them dumped out of the FA Cup by Watford. The tie looks as though it is already over with Barcelona grabbing two away goals at the Emirates stadium, but surely Arsenal need to at least show a bit of fight to give their fans something to cheer about.

The first leg was far too predictable. Arsenal managed to keep Barcelona at bay for the majority of the game, but inevitably lost their concentration and conceded twice. Although Arsenal are almost guaranteed to be knocked out, a good performance is a must. The pressure on the team and the manager is gradually increasing with ever poor performance, but a good display against an elite team could help reduce the pressure, which is being piled on by the fans.

Of course Arsenal’s first job will be keeping Messi, Neymar and Suarez quiet. Sadly, this doesn’t seem likely, so maybe it’s best for the Gunners to focus on how they can potentially hurt Barcelona. One major change in the Arsenal starting 11 has to be the striking position. Despite Olivier Giroud racking up 20 goals in all competitions, his performances of late have been mediocre to say the least. Danny Welbeck on the other hand has looked lively, and at least looks like he will give his all. His pace and physicality could cause Pique and Mascherano problems, and with three goals since returning from injury, he is in good goal scoring form.

Barcelona however have not been struggling for goals. The European champions put six past Getafe on Saturday, and are looking deadly ahead of the clash with Arsenal. Meanwhile, the Gunners were struggling to keep Watford’s attack of Ighalo and Deeney quiet. Admittedly a good strike partnership, but it’s not quite Messi, Neymar and Suarez is it?

Arsenal are of course the under dogs ahead of the game, but have a very good record in second legs. Can they conjure up a shock result? Or will Barcelona’s menacing attack strike again?

Predicted starting line ups:


Ter Stegen, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez, Neymar


Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscienly, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck

Barcelona Messi Suarez Welbeck

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