Arsenal will be seeking a positive first-leg result against Barcelona in London as they bid to avoid a third knockout defeat by the UEFA Champions League holders this decade.
The Premier League side have lost their two previous two-legged knockout ties against Barcelona, who also won in England at this stage of the competition in 2014 and 2015 and were one of only two teams to go through the group stage unbeaten, with an away record of W1 D2.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique
Enrique says Arsenal’s game against Barcelona has the potential to be “one of the most appealing” fixtures around.
Enrique who has overseen 32 games unbeaten streak in all competitions this season will be visiting the Emirates Stadium for the first time and he is is expecting a thrilling game.
“On paper, this is one of the most attractive and appealing types of games you are going to find. That is if you like this style of football, some like it more straight forward.
“There are so many styles. I think we are going to see a really good game as we both want to dominate and win as well. I have seen Arsenal before twice this season. They are going to press high at some moments in the game.
“I hope that we can keep hold of possession and put into practice our talent. We know Arsenal are a good team, good in positions and have really good players.” Enrique said as quoted on the Arsenal website.
In two-legged ties against English opposition in UEFA competition, their record is W13 L10.
As well as overcoming Arsenal in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final, Barcelona also beat Manchester United FC in the 2009 (2-0) and 2011 (3-1) finals. They lost to United in the 1991 European Cup Winners’ Cup final (1-2).