Saturday, 18 December 2010

It's Barca and should we really be surprised?

Morning Gooners.

So the Champions League draw took place yesterday. And surprise, surprise, we were drawn with..... Barcelona.

What a great two games of football this tie will produce. We know what happened last season, but if we'd got a couple of decisions last time round who knows what might of happened.

I don't think we should be intimidated by the prospect of playing them. We know we aren't expected to progress, so we should go into these two games without fear. Play our game. And then if we get turned over, we know at least we've done all we could to progress.

Arsene Wenger said of the draw:
"Barcelona are certainly the favourites for the competition and a famous team but, on their side, they did not want us either because they know they will get a game.
"I think we are better than last year and we have a good opportunity to show that. I won't come out on how we will make it a different game. What is on my mind right now is Stoke tomorrow more than Barcelona."

Whilst captain Cesc Fabregas added:
"This is not some mission impossible. We can win this. Barcelona are not unbeatable. If they were invincible, they would win the Champions League every year.
"Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have knocked them out in recent years.
"Maybe it's our turn now - and why not?
"If we want to be champions of Europe, we have to be able to beat anyone and everyone - and that includes Barca."

If we go out at this stage there is no shame in that. In fact it may help us with our league campaign. But like the captain says, Barca aren't unbeatable and if we get them on a day when they aren't at the races, there is no reason with the game we play that we couldn't beat them.

It's not until February we face them at the Grove on February 16. The away leg is on March 8.

There isn't much else going on this morning. There is a story doing the rounds about Wojciech Szczesny and how he's come back after breaking both his forearms. 

There is no news yet on whether the game this afternoon is going ahead at the time of writing (10am) - there is heavy snow in the UK. So I'll await news from the official site before posting my preview.

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