Can Arsenal Win In Barcelona?

by on February 18, 2011
in Champions League, Previews

Well, who’d have predicted victories for both Arsenal and Spurs in the Champions League at the beginning of this week?

It’s easy to be wise after the event and regret not putting money on the games, but with two weeks to go before the return legs it’s worth taking a look at what might happen – as well as taking advantage of any free bets that might be available.

Of the second leg ties involving the North London rivals, Arsenal’s trip to Barcelona looks the more difficult one. The excitement of a stirring come from behind victory against arguably the best club in the world at the Emirates was only tempered by David Villa’s away goal and Barcelona’s formidable record at home. 

The blaugrana have only lost twice in their last 20 Champions League games at Nou Camp and once in their last ten home games in the competition against English clubs in the Catalan capital – a 2-1 defeat by Liverpool in Feb 2007.

On the other hand, Arsenal do not travel well in the Champions League. The Gunners have only recorded six away wins in their last 20 away games in the competition and have only won one of their last five trips to Spain – a single goal victory against Real Madrid six years ago.

The following evening Milan – without Renato Gattuso – travel to White Hart Lane. We only have this season’s form in the Champions League to judge Spurs on but as they’ve won all four games at home in the competition this season then it’s reasonable to assume that they might not lose  – which increases when you look at Milan’s recent away record in the competition.

The only victory the rossoneri  managed  in the group stage was at a poor Auxerre side: additionally, Milan have only one win in their last eight away games versus British opposition. The current Serie A leaders need to score to stand any chance of qualifying, but once again they don’t have a great record, having failed to score in three of their last five away games against British sides.

It’d be great if both Arsenal and Spurs reached the next round, but however unlikely that prospect may look, we won’t know until the final whistle blows at White Hart Lane in a few weeks time.

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