Talk about mission impossible.

After narrowly failing to overturn first leg defeats against Bayern Munich and AS Monaco in recent seasons, Arsenal are left with the task of winning away at Camp Nou against Barcelona by at least two goals to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Not just any Arsenal, but an out of form and feeling down Arsenal side led by a manager possibly facing the most valid and pressing questions of his 20 years at the helm.

Could it get any tougher than this?

Press Conference

Still lamenting a first leg defeat which was a little undeserved, Arsène Wenger is confident his players can turn the tie around and produce one of the great shocks in the history of European football. That’s not to say he thinks Arsenal will win, but he certainly believes his players have it in them.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 15: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal speaks during an Arsenal press conference ahead of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match against Barcelona at Camp Nou on March 15, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Arsène Wenger believes in his side, but winning at Camp Nou could be too much to ask. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Team News

The only team news is that Laurent Koscielny is back and will replace Calum Chambers in the squad.

Expect Olivier Giroud to be dropped with both Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott in the side as the boss searches for goals and a counter-attacking approach.

At the back it will be a case of choosing between Per Mertesacker and Gabriel.

Possible XI: Ospina; Bellerín, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny; Walcott, Özil, Alexis; Welbeck.

The Opposition

What more needs to be said about Barcelona? In Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta they have two of the best midfielders of all time. In Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suárez, three of the best attacking players of all time and probably the best front three any team has ever boasted.

511889514 barcelonas argentinian forward lionel messi gettyimages
They’re quite good. (JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

So you have to somehow stop them without sacrificing your attacking intent. Nobody has done that successfully in 37 games: Sevilla beat the Spanish and European champions 2-1 back in October.

Luis Enrique was as confident as ever on Tuesday, still insisting that the job isn’t finished – it’s been a theme amongst the Barcelona players this week to say the job isn’t done yet and remind themselves they have to have full focus.

Former Arsenal man Thomas Vermaelen could play with Gerard Piqué suspended. Arda Turan could make his first Barcelona appearance in the Champions League.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Alves, Mascherano, Vermaelen, Alba; Arda, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar.


Arsenal are certainly more than an underdog on Wednesday evening; even a one-goal win at Camp Nou wouldn’t be enough.

Under Arsène Wenger, Arsenal fans have enjoyed victories everywhere. Wins in Madrid, Milan, Munich, Dortmund. But never Barcelona.

Keeping a clean sheet seems beyond us but do it and we have a small chance. Score the first goal and you never know.

At this point, I just hope the players do us proud.