A big clash will take place tonight at Emirates Stadium in the first leg of the round of 16 of UEFA Champions League™.
The Gunners will receive an old foe, F.C. Barcelona who beat them last season by means of Messi‘s superb performance in the second leg of the quarter finals.
Arsène Wenger is aware Arsenal will be facing the best team in the world, however, he’s confident his Gunners will be up to the challenge, regardless of recent history between the two teams.
This season and every time it’s down to your performances. It’s not down to history, it’s how good you are on the day, and we want to show everybody (how good we are) … Everybody expects an exciting game because there are two teams who play quality football and we want to be faithful to our philosophy, to make sure we dominate the game, that we pass the ball, that we have possession of the ball. If we do that, we have a very good chance of beating them. Arsène Wenger for www.arsenal.com
Wenger confirmed that Samir Nasri is in the squad after a hamstring strain, although Abou Diaby misses out with a calf problem suffered playing for France last week. Łukasz Fabiański who suffers from a shoulder injury is out for the rest of the season.
Arsenal comes from a victory last weekend against Wolverhampton. Star striker Robin van Persie has scored ten goals in Arsenal’s last eight games. Barça on the other hand, had a draw in the match against Sporting de Gijón.
It seems we’re in for a great match.
Finally, an interesting fact I found on the UEFA Champions League official website:
No team from outside England have won in the 27 UEFA Champions League games, including qualifiers, staged at the Arsenal Stadium.
February 16th, 2011.