Match Preview: Barcelona vs Arsenal


There’s not many that will argue Arsenal still have a chance of qualifying tonight. Two nil down on aggregate, and the second leg at the Nou Camp, a stadium that Los Cules have not tasted defeat at in over a year. The Blaugrana are on course for back to back Champions League trophies, whereas Arsenal are on course for back to back disappointments. Expectations are low for this one.

For Arsenal to even score in this game would surprise many, considering the current form of the team. It looks to be a rather easy victory for Barcelona. Arsenal are riddled rotten with injuries, with Aaron Ramsey just one of the newest to attend the treatment room. The overall midfield looks depleted as we have suffered time and time again without our little Spaniard Santi Cazorla playing alongside Francis Coquelin. The new found partnership of Coquelin and Elneny may be a fearsome duo one day, but not quite yet. Behind these two we have Flamini and Arteta, who most will be hoping do not step foot on the Camp Nou turf. The entire team will be disheartened after their long run in the FA Cup eventually came to an end, so expect a fight – and a better performance. But realistically, Barcelona will still conquer. Per Mertesacker had a overall decent game on Sunday, but even still Deeney and Ighalo managed to bombard their way through the defence, so the Barca trio, MSN, will have no problems.

While Arsenal suffered the first defeat in almost 3 years in the FA Cup on Sunday, Barcelona were pulverising opposition Getafe on the home turf. An emphatic display that is quite common over in La Liga, and almost unheard of in England. Barcelona have a strong squad available for selection tonight, unlike Arsenal, who generally lack the overall talent. Barcelona’s front 3 has accumulated 103 goals already this season with 68 in just the league, whereas Arsenal as a whole have only scored 46 in the league. Two different worlds.

Wenger’s Words

“We are in a position where we need to score two or three goals,” he said. “That demands a very [clear charge].

“We know that we need to attack and take the game to them.

“I felt that our approach [in the first leg] was not so bad. We lost our balance a bit just after half-time.

“We got caught on the counter-attack at a moment where we looked to be on top of the game, so we are in a position where I don’t think we have to think too much.”

Bold words for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, but one can not criticise his desire and courage to fight. After my review after the Watford defeat, I realise I was maybe quite harsh on Wenger. This guy is the best manager in the clubs history, so to sack him would be outrageous. Although we may not see another trophy appear in the Emirates trophy cabinet for a while, he still remains alone if the best managers the Premier League has ever seen. Here’s to 2017.

Founder/Editor of SportsDictator. Premier League fan and analyst.


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