Graphic: The Arsenal XI Arsene Wenger should select versus Barcelona

Arsenal travel to Barcelona looking to overturn a two-goal deficit.

Arsenal play Barcelona in the second-leg of their Champions League tie this Wednesday looking to overturn a two-goal deficit after a Lionel Messi double at the Emirates put the Spaniards in total control.

Barcelona are currently on a 37-game unbeaten record, whereas Arsenal’s season is now all-but over after crashing out of the FA Cup to Watford and falling 11 points behind league leaders Leicester City.

The Champions League remains the Gunners’ last hope, yet winning at the Nou Camp is an almighty task these days and having to win by two clear goals is very much mission impossible.

But nevertheless, Arsene Wenger and his side must try and their best hope of succeeding would be to flood the midfield with energy and look to hurt the Catalans on the counter and at set-pieces.

As shown by the graphic above, Arsenal ought to line up in a rather unorthodox 4-1-4-1 formation and look to dominate the midfield by applying pressure, especially on the underrated Sergio Busquets.

With goalkeeper Petr Cech out injured, David Ospina keeps his place while Laurent Koscielny’s absence provides a big dilemma for Wenger considering the form of Gabriel Paulista.

The Brazilian defender was desperately poor against Watford, and struggling to deal with Odion Ighalo doesn’t bode well in his preparation to facing arguably the world’s greatest front three of all time.

Nacho Monreal is capable of featuring at centre-back, and would be a better option with Kieran Gibbs slotting in at left-back and Mohamed Elneny playing a holding role just in-front.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez provide boundless energy and should play in the middle on this occasion, allowing Danny Welbeck to come in on the left where his height could prove key at set-pieces.

Joel Campbell and Olivier Giroud complete the line-up, with the latter’s hold-up play vital to Arsenal’s chances of completing what would be one of the greatest European comebacks in recent history.


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