Barcelona (Camp Nou, Barcelona)
Champions League Fixture (Quarter Final 2nd Leg)
Tuesday 6th April 2010
Kick Off: 7.45pm – Live on Sky Sports 2
We all know who Arsenal have missing.
William Gallas, Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song and Andrei Arshavin are all out injured, Tomas Rosicky is rated 50:50 to make the squad and Sol Campbell is waiting on a late fitness test to see if he can make it. If not, we have the terrifying prospect of Mikael Silvestre playing against Barcelona.
But call it blind faith, but I still think we can do something tonight.
Don’t get me wrong, Arsenal will need to put in a near faultless performance to get anything from this game. Barcelona are quite rightly huge favourites to progress and completely deserve their title of the best club team in the world.
For me, this game will either go one of two ways:
Barcelona will score early and completely batter us. If they perform anything like they can do, and showed in the first leg, it could very well be 4 or 5 nil. They’ve ripped apart teams in Europe at the Camp Nou before so don’t believe it can’t happen to us.
But the second possibility is that Arsene Wenger gets his tactics spot on, and we use Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Eboue to their full potential. If we get that right, we can nick it.
At the Camp Nou, Theo will have space to exploit his explosive pace but the question is whether he is clinical enough to take his chances when they come. We have to hope that the game against Wolves is completely out of his system because opportunities tonight will be few and far between.
And Eboue is another player would could make that vital difference. He has a fantastic burst of pace with the ball and can effortlessly beat players at will – when he’s in the mood. If he gets the chances to take on players he needs to because attacking possession will be key tonight. He, along with Walcott, are the only players capable of going on a mazy run and beating a few players and creating a vital chance.
And don’t forget that Samir Nasri has shown that he is more than capable of pulling the strings in the Cesc Fabregas role, so we have a creative outlet there.
But of course, unless Arsenal defend heroically then it’s all ifs and buts.