FC Barcelona Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups
This is one fixture football fans all over the world have been waiting for. When two teams with quite a similar footballing philosophy lock horns for the right to be in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Both teams have faced each other a couple of times in the competition with the Spanish juggernauts edging past the Gunners on several occasions. When they met in 2011, the Gunners earned themselves a historic victory but things didn’t pan out too well in the second leg.
Barcelona have won their two previous two-legged knockout ties against Arsenal, in 2009/10 (6-3 aggregate) and 2010/11 (4-3), and also beat the Gunners 2-1 in the 2006 final at the Stade de France. Current coach Luis Enrique scored in both encounters in the 1999/2000 first group stage, finding the net in the 1-1 Camp Nou draw and again in a 4-2 win at Wembley.
Arsenal Team News
Following the disappointing draw with Hull City, Wenger would be happy to know that his side has earned a replay but there is the threat of tonight’s opponents to contend with and he’s going to feature his strongest possible XI. Arsene Wenger has confirmed Petr Cech’s presence in goal and the fans would be hopeful that his record against Lionel Messi would continue. The boss has given a hint of how he wants to approach the game but it’s one thing to say what you wanna do and it’s another for your players to make it happen.
Wenger also confirmed the continued absence of Gabriel Paulista, which means that Calum Chambers would serve as a central defensive deputy to the Mertesielny combination.
It would be an interesting game for Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin, that have them some Barcelona in the past. Sanchez hasn’t been on his best since the season began and I would be hoping that he turns up today.
Arsenal Injury / Suspension News
Jack Wilshere (ankle), Santi Cazorla (knee), Tomas Rosicky (thigh), Mikel Arteta (calf), Gabriel Paulista (hamstring)
Arsenal Predicted Lineup
Barcelona Team News
Barcelona is in tremendous form at the moment and following their narrow win over Las Palmas, they are currently on a 32-game unbeaten streak. In this run, they have won 26 games, drawn six and scored a whopping 98 goals with the world’s deadliest attacking trio, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Junior decimating opposition defenses.
Arsenal’s defense will have their work cut out for them today.
Barcelona Injury / Suspension News
Rafinha Alcantara (knee), Arda Turan (suspended)
Barcelona Predicted Lineup
- Last Five Games: W W D W D
- Last Result: Arsenal 0-0 Hull
- Leading Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud (18)
- Last Five Games: W D W W W
- Last Result: UD Las Palmas 1-2 FC Barcelona
- Leading Goalscorer: Luis Suarez (41)
Gooner Daily predicts a 1 – 0 win.
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