Arsenal welcomes Barcelona over at the Emirates stadium on the 23rd of february for the first leg in their champions league 1/8 final. This is one of the more interesting fixtures as the gunners was looking very strong for several weeks in the middle of the season and has been on the decline as of late (ironically with the return of their main man Alexis Sanchez). On the other side of the field they have arguably the worlds best team, and Barcelona seems like even a more unstoppable force than they have previously been as now they´re playing with a defence than they´ve had earlier (while maintaining their offensive strength with the amigos; Messi, Neymar and Suarez).
With everything on the line for the gunners in both the Champions league and the premier league this will possibly be their most important game of the season, and Arsenal fans will know how the gunners tend to perform in situations like these a little to well. To have a chance at Camp Nou Arsenal will need to win this one and preferably with at least 2 goals, not an easy task versus Barcelona to say the least.
Barcelona will be coming into this fixture with 5 away game victories aswell as 5 victories overall as of 2016-02-03 (all over 2.5 goals). Barcelona has been looking strong as usual this season even though some of their biggest names have been amidst accusations of tax fraud and with the departure of Pedro. They will be coming into this game with only Rafinha injured who is said to be back in mars.
Arsenal will be coming into this game with 3 draws, 1 victory and 1 defeat overall as well as 3 victories, 1 defeat and 1 draw at home as of 2016-02-03. The gunners had an explosive fall and managed to recover both in the premier league standings aswell as beating Bayern Munich at home and miraculously advancing in the champions league. But they’ve lost a lot of that explosiveness as of late but if Mesut Özil and Giroud can play like they did in the abscence of Sanchez with Sanchez then they would have a chance here to score some strong early goals and then push back, that’s a strong if however and with 12 days to go the viking thinks their chances are slim, at best. Arsenal will be without Welbeck, Wilshere, Rosicky and Cazorla for this fixture, all long term injuries though.
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The viking’s prediction for this game is that Barcelona should be able to win it with ease. However with Arsenal’s potential (assuming they manage to get Giroud, Özil and Sanchez working together on the field) anything can happen, literary anything. In the teams last meeting Barcelona have won 2 and Arsenal 1, though they haven’t faced each other since 2011. Those meetings carry some interesting facts which really speaks to the picks we have in mind and to both teams strengths: In all of those game both teams scored and the games went at least over 2.5 goals.
With both teams strong offensive potential in mind over 2.5 goals is very likely and there’s some very strong value to be had in both over 3.5 and over 4.5 goals. If you’re looking for a winner of the fixture then consider Arsenal draw no bet or possibly the 1X pick. The 1.77 on Barcelona could seem like a good pick but keep in mind that Arsenal’s own explosive trio can manage to score against any team which is just what happened at the Emirates stadium where Arsenal beat Bayern Munich last year, this is also the only 1/8 played in England of the first leg fixtures so it’s safe to assume that every british soccer fan will tune in for this one.
Arsenal – Barcelona 3-2 @ 35.00
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Over 3.5 goals @ 2.55
Over 4.5 goals @ 4.60
Both teams to score, YES @ 1.58
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