Barça and Arsenal have shared some memorable recent Champions League encounters / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

FC Barcelona return to Champions League action on Tuesday (kick off 8.45pm CET) as they visit Arsenal in what promises to be a mouth-watering first-leg round of 16 clash.

Team news

Luis Enrique recalls Gerard Piqué to the squad after resting the defender for Saturday’s league win over Las Palmas, as well as Sergio Busquets who was suspended.

Rafinha remains injured and Arda Turan is out through suspension while Douglas, Sandro and Marc Bartra miss out.

Arsene Wenger is without Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Gabriel Paulista but welcomes back Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech who were left out of their recent FA Cup match against Hull City.

Coaches' viewpoint

“We have to be excellent on and off the ball to control an opponent like Arsenal,” said Luis Enrique in his pre-match press conference.

The manager also accepts that his team are favourites, but insists that the label “will not change" the way they approach the game.

Wenger believes that the key for his side is to not over-commit in attack and to leave themselves with a manageable task for the return fixture at Camp Nou.

"We need to be strong defensively as a unit and not put ourselves in front of a very difficult task in the second leg," said the Frenchman.

Form guide

Barça are enjoying a rich vein of form having won their last eight league matches and are currently on a club record streak of 32 matches without defeat.

Arsenal have recently got their Premier League title hopes back on track with victories over AFC Bournemouth and leaders Leicester City after a run of four league games without a win.


The two sides have shared some memorable Champions League encounters in recent times, especially the 2006 final in Paris where Barça claimed their second ever title with a 2-1 win.

Barça and Arsenal went head-to head in the last-16 and the quarter-finals in in 2010 and 2011 respectively where the Catalans progressed on both occasions.

However, Barça have yet to win at Arsenal’s ground, drawing 2-2 in 2010 and winning 2-1 the following year.


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