English Premiership

Koscielny set for Gunners return

2016-03-16 09:01
Laurent Koscielny (Supplied)
Laurent Koscielny (Supplied)

Cape Town - Arsenal face an uphill battle as they seek to overturn a two-goal deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League Last-16 second leg on Wednesday.

The Gunners impressively held firm against a clearly stronger Barca outfit in the first leg at the Emirates last month, but two mistakes in the final 20 minutes of the match allowed Lionel Messi to grab a brace to put the Spanish champions in a comfortable position ahead of the return leg.

The two-goal cushion is especially significant because the Catalans scored them away from home, meaning Arsenal have will have to grab at least three unanswered goals to win the tie outright.

The good news for the English side is if they do somehow manage to score three times at the Nou Camp, a feat last achieved in a competitive match by Valencia in February 2014, Barcelona will need to score twice themselves to secure the win.

Arsenal's confidence will not be high going into the match, having won only one of their last seven matches in all competitions and off the back of getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Watford over the weekend, while Barcelona have won their last eight fixtures in a row and last tasted defeat in October 2015.

To make matters worse for the Gunners, they will be without Petr Cech (calf), Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (knee), Jack Wilshere (shin), Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and Santi Carzola (Achilles), who are all only expected back next month, but Laurent Koscielny could return to the starting line-up after his recovery from a calf problem.

Barcelona will be without Gerard Pique, who picked up a one-match suspension in the first leg, but otherwise have a full squad to choose from.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.