Francis Coquelin sends Barcelona warning ahead of first leg

Arsenal

The Arsenal midfielder says past results show that the Gunners can do great things if they just believe in themselves.

Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has warned Barcelona to expect a fight when the two clubs meet at the Emirates on Tuesday night, telling Arsenal Player that the Gunners' belief means they can achieve anything.

The North London side host the La Liga leaders in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with both clubs in impressive form.

Barca are unbeaten in their last 32 matches in all competitions since early October, whilst Arsenal have lost just once in their last 11 fixtures.

Coquelin is aware that his side have a mountainous task ahead of them, but is convinced that the Gunners' 2-0 home win over German champions Bayern Munich in the group stage shows that they have the ability to beat any team on their day.

The 24-year-old told Arsenal Player: "Any player wants to play players at this level and I’m ready for it if I’m involved. Everyone wants to play these types of games. We are really looking forward to it.

"Barcelona are probably the best team in the world at the moment. We are obviously looking forward to it even if it is really tough. Hopefully we can do something against such a massive team.

"I don’t think we need to play with fear. If we have that belief, we can do great things. We showed that in the past against Bayern Munich a few months ago. Not many people said we could win this game and we showed we can compete with great teams as well."

Arsenal's recent record against Barca makes for grim reading for Gunners fans, with the North London side following up their 2006 Champions League final defeat to the Catalan giants by being knocked out at the hands of Tuesday's opponents in the last 16 in both 2010 and 2011.

The Gunners have been knocked out at this stage of Europe's foremost competition in each of the last five , and will have to do things the hard way if they are to reach a first quarter-final since 2010.

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