The Champions League defending winners are all set to face Arsenal in the first leg of their quarter finals tie at Emirates Stadium. The match is a repeat of the 2006 final – which Barca won 2-1. Though the rematch sees two world class talents, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas face their former club. Both teams are facing setbacks as Andres Iniesta of Barca has been ruled out because of a hamstring injury and Arsenal are waiting on the fitness of captain Cesc Fabregas after his knee injury against Birmingham.
This is a match that has been highly anticipated as it would be a memorable encounter between the Spaniards and the English. Arsenal have been continuously playing a smooth and attacking game while Barca has one of the highest numbers of goals scored this season. Known for their offense, Arsenal need to oppose the Messi and class striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic combination from proceeding into their goal. With Messi seemingly on fire, he would surely mean trouble for the opponents. Barcelona and Arsenal both have a solid defense over the past few weeks but the absence of Gerard Pique from the former team due to injury could be a set back.
Prediction: The game would be a competitive one, though with the absence of three players in Arsenal, the attacking front does not seem to be much of a threat. Barcelona will eventually turn victorious in this first leg.