Barcelona vs. Arsenal
UEFA Champions League: Round of 16 second leg
Venue: Camp Nou
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2016
Kick off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Barcelona will host Arsenal on Wednesday for the second leg of the last-16 Champions League clash as the Gunners look to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger’s men must achieve a feat last accomplished in the European Cup in 1969 if they are to qualify for the last eight of the Champions League. The Londoners have been virtually written off from this tie from all quarters following their defeat in the first leg and it seems to be mission impossible to have success at the Camp Nou.
Arsenal have only won four of their last 12 away matches in all competitions, whereas the Spanish giants are unbeaten in their last 37 competitive outings.
Despite being the favourites, it’s not going to be easy for Barca against Arsenal, who have completely nothing to lose in this fixture and probably will show a more open and attacking game plan – but it’s hard to look past a home victory.
Barcelona’s La Liga record: P29– W24– D3– L2
Arsenal’s Premier League record: P29– W15– D7– L7
Barcelona’s Recent form (all competitions): W-W-W-W-W
Arsenal’s Recent form (all competitions): L-W-D-L-L
Head to Head Stats (Last 6 matches):
23.02.16 CHA Arsenal 0 : 2 Barcelona
08.03.11 CHA Barcelona 3 : 1 Arsenal
16.02.11 CHA Arsenal 2 : 1 Barcelona
06.04.10 CHA Barcelona 4 : 1 Arsenal
31.03.10 CHA Arsenal 2 : 2 Barcelona
17.05.06 CHA Barcelona 2 : 1 Arsenal
Barcelona team news:
- Arda Turan returns from a ban, but Rafinha remains out with a knee injury for the return leg of Barcelona’s last 16 tie against Arsenal.
- Gerard Pique is suspended, with Jeremy Mathieu and former Gunner Thomas Vermaelen are vying for a start, although the latter may miss out against his former club.
Arsenal team news:
- Olivier Giroud and former Barca forward Alexis Sanchez are all likely to be back in the starting line-up.
- In absence of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain(knee), Danny Welbeck, Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott are all vying for a spot on the right-flank.
- David Ospina will continue between the sticks with Petr Cech (calf) out injured.
- Mohamed Elneny should partner Francis Coquelin as the game comes too early for Aaron Ramsey(hip), Tomas Rosicky(thigh), Jack Wilshere (leg) and Santi Cazorla (knee).
Barcelona predicted starting line-up: ter Stegen, Alves, Mathieu, Mascherano, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Suárez, Neymar
Arsenal predicted starting line-up: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Sánchez, Ozil, Welbeck, Giroud
- Barcelona’s shoot-out record in UEFA competition is W5 L1:
5-4 v KKS Lech Poznań, 1988/89 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
0-2 v FC Steaua Bucureşti, 1985/86 European Cup final
5-4 v IFK Göteborg, 1985/86 European Cup semi-final
4-1 v RSC Anderlecht, 1978/79 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
3-1 v Ipswich Town FC, 1977/78 UEFA Cup third round
5-4 v AZ Alkmaar, 1977/78 UEFA Cup second round
- Arsenal’s shoot-out record in UEFA competition is W2 L2:
7-6 v AS Roma, 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16
1-4 v Galatasaray AŞ, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup final
3-2 v UC Sampdoria, 1994/95 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final
4-5 v Valencia CF, 1979/80 European Cup Winners’ Cup final
Match facts (via UEFA):
- Messi, Suárez and Neymar have scored 103 goals between them in all competitions this season following a 6-0 mauling of Getafe CF on 12 March – in which Messi also missed a penalty. The 100 mark was reached on 6 March, when Messi struck twice and Suárez once in a 4-0 success at SD Eibar.
- Arda registered his first goal for the club in the 5-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano on 3 March; he scored his second against Getafe on Saturday.
- The 4-0 victory at Hull City AFC on 8 March in an FA Cup fifth round replay was Arsenal’s first win in six matches. They lost 2-1 at home to Watford FC in the quarter-finals on 13 March, ending their two-year hold on the trophy.
- The Gunners have lost four of their last seven matches in all competitions.
Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal