Barça will receive the ‘Gunners’ who emerged victorious from the first leg at Emirates Stadium. Things will not be easy for Arsène Wenger’s squad though, because the Spanish team scored an away goal which keeps the odds on their favour.
Arsenal skipper Fabregas and Dutchman van Persie have made the trip to Spain, despite rumours about their fitness following minor lesions.
Cesc (Fabregas) had a muscle problem. Robin has a ligament problem. There is more risk for a muscle problem. So it is just whether he feels he is fit to play. There is not the same risk of recurrence like there is with a muscular problem: Arsène Wenger.
On the Spanish side, it appears Barcelona will be able to have their coach on the bench. Yesterday he appeared after the doctors discharged him from hospital after he recovered from the discomfort caused by a herniated disc. He expects the fans to play their game and support the team in this important match.
The fans will carry us to the quarterfinals (…) the Champions League is special and is a great challenge … it’s a good thing to stay in the competition: Josep Guardiola.
Guardiola will deal with the absence in defense of Puyol, injured, and Piqué, suspended. The Barcelona manager recalled that in the final of the Cup and the Champions League two years ago Barcelona played with some players missing, and said: “If we don’t make it to the quarter finals it won’t be because Carles and Gerard are not there”.
A great match is ahead of us, hopefully the ‘Gunners’ will defeat Barça once again and proceed to the quarter finals.
UEFA Champions League facts:
- Arsenal are taking part in their 13th UEFA Champions League campaign and this is the 11th successive time they have progressed beyond the initial group stage. In the last three years they have made it to the quarter-finals or better.
- Last season Barça reached the semi-finals, losing to eventual winners FC Internazionale Milano.
- Arsenal won their first away game in Group H, 3-1 at FK Partizan, but then lost 2-1 at FC Shakhtar Donetsk and 2-0 at SC Braga to finish second behind Shakhtar.
- Cesc Fàbregas left Barcelona to join Arsenal as a 16-year-old in September 2003.
- Arshavin was in the Russia side beaten 3-0 in the UEFA EURO 2008 semi-final by a Spain team including Puyol, Villa, Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta along with Fàbregas. Villa played only 34 minutes before tearing a muscle, an injury which ruled him out of Spain’s 1-0 final victory against Germany.
March 8th, 2010
 By courtesy of UEFA.com