Arsenal host Barcelona in the first leg of the round of 16 tie of the Champions League on Tuesday (23 February) as the Gunners look to secure their first foray in the quarter-finals of Europe's biggest club tournament in over six years. The north London club have never managed to progress into the next round at the expense of Barcelona, having faced them seven times, winning only once and losing four times.
Where to watch live
Kick-off is set for 7:45pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on BT Sport Europe and BT Sport Europe HD.
Arsenal come into the game as major underdogs, having scraped their way into the knockout stages after being beaten at home by Olympiacos and failing to beat Dinamo Zagreb away. However, their heroics against Bayern Munich at the Emirates, where they beat the Bavarian club 2-0, will bring some respite to Arsene Wenger, who has demanded stability in transition from defence to attack.
Arsenal's chances depend largely on their ability to keep Barcelona's front three quiet, which boast the likes of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi. The Catalans have yet to taste victory away to Arsenal, drawing twice and losing once in the three times they have met at either Highbury or the Emirates. The last time these two met here, David Villa's opener was negated by Robin van Persie, with Andrei Arshavin scoring the winner.
Meanwhile, Barcelona will be comfortable coming into the game. They are yet to lose a single game in the tournament, having drawn against Roma and Bayer Leverkusen away, in what has been an impeccable start to their Champions League defence.
This is the first time that Barcelona will face Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean made his way to the Emirates after moving from Barcelona in 2014. Andres Iniesta has already cited the need to keep the South American quiet as he has the quality to stifle the Barcelona defence, which has been far from a compact unit this season.
What managers say
Arsene Wenger: "I think we will score so I am not too concerned. It's true that recently our goals have dried up a bit and we have to find a way to get that going again. But I am more concerned about stopping them from scoring because at home in the Champions League nil-nil is not a bad score. We have always made it difficult for ourselves in previous years by conceding goals at home and the rules of the modern European Cup encourage teams to defend at home and attack away because of the importance of the away goal. Many times I have said that should be suppressed because if you concede a goal at home in the Champions League it's a knife in your heart every time. Against big teams it becomes very difficult."
Luis Enrique: "It's not only great we are here in London playing Arsenal but also for the magnitude of the Champions League league itself. Our target is to win the game no matter what. So we need to score goals no matter what. Barcelona always has the possession of the ball and controls the game, so on paper this is one of the most attractive and appealing games. I think we're going to witness a very good game because both want to dominate."
Betting odds (888Sport)
- Arsenal Win: 13/19
- Draw: 58/19
- Barcelona Win: 4
Possible XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar