Barcelona will host Premier League outfit Arsenal on Wednesday night in their second leg tie of the round of 16 stages in the Champions League at the Nou Camp. The Catalan giants secured a comfortable 2-0 win in the first leg and hold the advantage now. Arsene Wenger’s side will once again have to dig deep and produce a special result if they wish to go through to the next round of Europe’s top competition.
The French manager would know this his team have a tough task at hand and will be forced to make some vital changes with injuries to his key stars.
Barcelona starting XI: (4-3-3)
Ter Stegen; Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.
Arsenal starting XI: (4-2-3-1)
Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny, Campbell, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck.
The loss of Petr Cech will be the biggest blow for Arsenal, who have now have to play David Ospina, in his place. The Colombian international has performed well in recent weeks and is quite experienced, though has not played much this season and will have to be at his very best in this one. On the other hand, Ter Stegen will be in front of the Barca goal once again and will look to keep another clean sheet.
Both teams will deploy a four man defence. Barca will play Danny Alves and Jordi Alba on the right and left side respectively. Gerard Pique will miss the game with a suspension and will be replaced by Jerey Mathieu alongside Javier Mascherano at the heart of their back four. Former Arsenal man Thomas Vermaelen will also be an option for Luis Enrique, if needed.
Arsenal will play the same back-line, as they did in their last game. Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Hector Bellerin will form the defensive line in front of Ospina, from left to right.
In front of the Barca defence, will feature the midfield trio of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busqets and Ivan Rakitic. The trio will once again look to create and counter Arsenal’s move ahead, with stead control on the ball.
For the Gunners, it will be the holding midfield duo of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny that will once again try to deal with the Barca threat along with pushing forward for goals as well. In front of them should feature the trio of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Joel Campbell, who will look to create chances for the lone striker.
Barca will once again play their world-class trio of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi up front. The trio has been doing really well so far this term and Messi scored a couple of goals in the last game as well. They have been creating so many chances and scoring at an amazing rate that any team would turn shy. Munir El Haddadi is another bright talent and could come into the game at some point of time.
Arsenal should start with Danny Welbeck, who could provide them some energy and finishing ahead of Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman could start on the bench and might be brought on soon, as the visitors do need to score twice at least.