Why We Will Shut Barcelona Out Tonight!
Although many people are expecting us to lose the Champions League match-up with Barcelona, I am optimistic that we will prevail over the two legs. Definitely I am expecting a win tonight and a draw over at the Nou Camp.
You may say I am nuts given our recent defensive performance at St James’s Park but do hear me out. Other than performance we have actually performed quite credibly in defence since the start of the year and the partnership between Koscielny and Djourou became more stable. It was a blessing that Squillaci got injured so that Kos and Johann had several games to get their partnership together.
Everyone who plays Arsenal knows that our weakness in defence is defending against the high ball. That’s why we have so much trouble with Premiership teams with big, stalking centre-forwards. Three of the four goals conceded at St James’s Park were due to the inability to deal with high balls into the box. When the ball is on the ground, we are much more comfortable in dealing with the threat. Wilshere and Song provided good cover for the centre-backs when the opposition is attacking on the ground. That’s why we seldom go down to teams who play us on the ground.
That is also why I feel we can take on Barcelona. The Spanish team is very similar to us, with little creative guys with not much height. Messi, Villa, Iniesta, Xavi, Krjic and Pedro are all not Andy Carroll or Didier Drogba type forwards. We can deal with the intricate passing and little one twos because it would just be like a practise session for the defenders. That’s how they train every day.
When we drew Barcelona back in December, I was actually happy because we would not have to deal with aerial threats from the opposition. While they used to have Ibrahimovic and Yaya Toure to trouble us from set-pieces, I think we will be very comfortable dealing with their much vaunted attack this evening.
Submitted by The Arsenal Kid.
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