Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League showdown at the Emirates stadium between Arsenal and reigning Champions Barcelona, fans of both clubs in Nigeria have thrown their weights behind their respective sides as the battle for a quarter final ticket kicks off.
Arsenal will be seeking a positive first-leg result against Barcelona in London as they bid to avoid a third knockout defeat in the hands of the Catalans while the Cup holders who are unbeaten in 32 matches in all competitions will be looking to continue their superb form with a positive first-leg result on a difficult ground.
366football.com engaged some the fans on their expectations for Tuesday’s clash and while some Arsenal fans sat on the fence with some exhuming some high level of confidence, Barcelona faithfuls were all assertive on a positive result against the Gunners at the Emirates.
Here we bring you some of the excerpts from the streets of Lagos.
Nsima Thompson (Arsenal fan)
“My brother, if I tell you that my team will beat Barcelona despite playing on our turf then I’m lying to myself. In football these days, things just go wrong and I’m hoping that will be the case for Barcelona tonight. On paper, they are favorites but if my wishes is anything to go by, then maybe we can have cause to smile at the end of 90 minutes.
“The trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez are unstoppable and trust me we don’t have the defensive discipline to cage those guys. I want my team to win but with those trio running at our feeble defenders?, there’s cause for worry.” Nisma stated.
Okechukwu Donatus (Barcelona fan)
“Bros I am sorry for Arsenal tonight (Tuesday). You know as we dey talk am for street na – “Arsenal name na sorry”. By the time MSN (Messi, Suarez and Neymar) are done with them, they will wish the draw never took place. We are going to beat them home and away with massive goal margins in both legs. That is my take and so shall it be.”
Kelechi Igbo (Mancehster United fan)
“I am not a fan of either teams but going by what I know as an ardent football follower, Barcelona will be too hot for Arsenal to handle. Arsenal lack defensive discipline we all know that and their scoring abilities lately hasn’t been impressive. Any team playing Barcelona must be defensively sound and clinical in the final third if they are to stand any chance of getting something positive against the Catalans.
“At the moment, Arsenal lack those two qualities which means we are braced up for another exit of an English club from the Champions League. My verdict is a win for Barcelona.”
Babatunde Awakan (Arsenal)
“Most people have written us off already but I am sure my team will surprise the World on Tuesday. No doubt Barcelona are the best side off the two given their squad depth and quality.
“If Arsene Wenger picks the right team for this encounter and adopts a less offensive approach on the night, we will head into the seond leg with a great chance of progressing to the final eight round.” Awakan stated.
Lemuel Joshua (Barcelona fan)
“Chai bros, Na wa to you o!! Arsenal own don finish this night na (He laughs). Barcelona will deal with the Gunners and I’m sorry for this my brother here (He points to an Arsenal fan – Ayomide Dayo who was to shy to speak to us) because he is going to cry after the encounter.
“I don’t know how they (Arsenal) are going to do it but with the trouble some boys (MSN) on the pitch, Petr Cech has his work load cut out for him tonight.” Joshua told 366football.com
Arsenal have conceded at least twice in the home leg of each of their previous three Champions League last-16 ties, and have not reached the quarter-finals of the competition since 2010.
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.