- Arsenal go into a big contest on Tuesday against Barcelona.
- Wenger has tipped Barcelona as the 'super favourite' for the encounter.
- Barcelona have scored a whooping 91 goals this season through Messi, Neymar and Suarez .
- Arsenal can however count on the experience of Cech, Ozil and Sanchez.
- Thierry expects Arsenal to be cautious and take their chances when they come.
To go into a contest against no less a team than Barcelona is really a kind of a contest indeed; and to have your leader say words like your opponent is ‘super favourite’ would really be intimidating.
Arsenal boss Wenger must show up and stop believing in Barca than his team. "We absolutely need to have, as a squad, total focus to have a chance."
"It is a good opportunity to show we have learned because we had given ourselves a difficult task after the home leg," he said.
"We need to find the right balance between being audacious, because that is what you will need to be against Barcelona, and being strong defensively as a unit.
Wenger has described the Spanish league leaders as "super favourites" to win the contest.
"The difficulty of the task is completely different but it is more difficult to prepare against Hull than Barcelona," he said.
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So as a player of Arsenal, you will think the task is arduous and might need a prima donna on your side to turn the tables in your favour.
Such is the position Arsenal find themselves as they face FC Barcelona in Tuesday’s Last-16 Champions League encounter at the Emirates.
The Gunners have lost 4 of their 6 ties with Barcelona, drawn 2 and only won 1 since 1999.
In their last encounter in the UEFA championships in 2011, Barcelona beat Arsenal 3-1 with a brace by Lionel Messi and Xavi scoring the other. Arsenal had their consolation via a Sergio Busquets own goal.
That encounter and other ones have gone the way of the Catalans for far too long and it is time Arsenal show up.
Barcelona have the men and the wherewithal to conjure victory out of the obscurest situation; especially so when they have a squad that includes the world’s deadliest striking power. Messi, Neymar Suarez can tear any defense apart with glee but the Arsenal players must believe and take them on.
Indeed, Barcelona can be intimidating, and they are very much aware. That is why they can confidently tell Real Madrid that they are not their main rivals but rather the English teams.
Lionel Messi has scored 27 goals alone and the trio Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar has scored 91 goals between them this season and they lead the home league with eight points and unbeaten in 32 matches in all competitions.
However, Arsenal now are no more the ‘school team’ they used to be in times past where their youthful team would look on and succumb to other European giants, especially Barcelona.
They now have Mesut Ozil, who has played 16 times for Real Madrid versus Barcelona, Petr Cech who was with Chelsea when they beat Barcelona on their way to their Champs leg conquest over Bayern Munich, and Sanchez who is a former Barcelona player.
Luckily for Arsenal, they have a legend in Henry Thierry to listen to. All he asks of them is to “accept they will probably only have 30 per cent possession and must be so efficient when they do get the ball,”
Henry left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2008 after becoming the London clubs top scorer of all time. He was also part of the historic team who under Pep Guardiola won all the titles they competed for in 2009.
So they must listen to one of their own. “The whole team must defend more as a unit and the wingers must tuck in and play more in their own half. “You very rarely get the chance to play against Barcelona so you must be prepared to sacrifice parts of your attacking game, home and away.” Henry said.