Cazorla and Podolski celebrating a goal/ PHOTO: Skysports
Following AC Milan, we continue our look at Barça’s possible Champions League opponents. Arsenal are another familiar face from recent seasons, and particularly 2006, when they faced FCB in the final at Saint-Dennis. The Gunners also met Barça in 2009/10 and 2010/11, and on each of these occasions, it has been the Catalans that have come out best.
Europe has seen the best and worst of Wenger’s erratic side this season. They picked up comfortable wins against Montpellier (2-0) and Olympiakos (3-1) at the Emirates, but also lost at home to Schalke 04 (0-2). On the road, they lost 2-1 at Olympiakos, won in Montpellier (1-2) and drew against eventual group winners Schalke 04 (2-2).
Irregular in Premier League
Arsenal have five wins, six draws and four defeats in the domestic championship, and are currently in a disappointing tenth position. Like in Europe, their results have varied from the impressive to the disastrous. They beat Liverpool at Anfield (0-2) and thrashed local rivals Tottenham (5-2), but have also lost fixtures they would normally expect to win against the likes of Norwich (1-0) and last weekend at home to Swansea City (0-2).
Cazorla and Podolski head new project
Having lost Cesc Fàbregas to Barça last season, and Dutch international Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer, Arsenal have at least been able to use the money to restructure the squad. Cazorla, signed from Malaga, has been brought in as the new central playmaker, while the loss of Van Persie has been compensated by the arrival of strikers Lucas Podolski from Cologne and Olivier Giroud from Montpellier.