Alan Smith on the ‘conundrum’ Arsenal must answer against Barcelona

The Gunners face the Catalans int he Champions League last sixteen.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Alan Smith has predicted Barcelona to beat Arsenal in the Champions League last sixteen.

The Gunners squeezed through the group stages, with an impressive win against Olympiacos in the final round of games sealing their progression.

After finishing second behind Bayern Munich in second place though, they were always likely to face one of the tougher sides in the latter stages.

That is exactly what has happened, with them drawing last year’s winners Barcelona and few people anticipating them to progress.

Smith is one of them, saying the obvious conundrum they must look to answer is how they can contain the Catalan giants’ formidable front three.

“The worst possible outcome for Arsene Wenger’s side who must play out of their skins to stand a chance of reaching the quarter finals,” he told the Telegraph.

“The obvious conundrum is how can an Arsenal back four presumably featuring the less than nippy Per Mertesacker possibly contain the mighty threat of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi?”

“The Gunners will need luck and every ounce of their quality to find a way past the reigning champions.”

While many are predicting Arsenal to exit the Champions League, they will be hopeful that they can compete against the La Liga champions.

They have shown they can beat the biggest sides in Europe this season, with their impressive performance against Bayern Munich at the Emirates demonstrating as much.

The Gunners would be convinced they could replicate that display again when Barcelona come to visit, with the first game of the tie being in London and crucial to their hopes of progressing.

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