Arsenal vs. Barcelona Champions League Preview: Gunners seeks redemption against Barca

By Peter Erick Magbanua@dakelsmb on
Mesut Ozil and the rest of Arsenal will have to step up when they host FC Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the Champions League.

Arsenal seeks to find redemption and an upper hand when they host the streaking FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the Champions League.

But this will be a hard sell for the Premier League side as they will have to find ways on how to deal with seven of its players who are reportedly in the injured list.

Among those listed to miss the match slated on February 23 at the Arsenal Stadium are team captain Mikel Arteta (calf), Alexis Sanchez (hamstring), Francis Coquelin (knee), Tomas Rosicky (knee), Santi Cazola (knee), Danny Welbeck (knee) and Jack Wilshere (calf).

With the injury developments, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will have to come up with something special to avoid a third knock out defeat from the Champions League title holders, who are much determined to defend their crown this season with Lionel Messi leading the way.

Arsenal also aims to erase the ghost of the 2011 season, wherein they were knockout by Barcelona in the quarterfinals due to a 4-3 aggregate score. Barcelona would end up winning the crown that season beating Manchester United, 3-1.

Going into their match, the Gunners are looking to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010. Arsenal barged their way into the knock out stage for the 16th season after beating Olympiacos, 3-0 on Dec. 9 and hopes to ride with that to boost their Champions League campaign.

On the other hand, Barcelona will be missing Arda Turan (suspension) and Rafinha (knee injury) but manager Luis Enrique aims for his squad to make a strong finish in the knock out stage and looks forward to reaching the quarterfinals for the ninth consecutive season.

Aside from Messi also to look forward to in Barca’s side are Neymar, Luis Suarez, Sandro Ramirez and Sergi Roberto.

Catch the Arsenal-Barcelona match via live stream at the Champions League official website UEFA.com and at LivesoccerTv.

Photo Courtesy: Ronnie Macdonald/Wikimedia

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