UEFA Champions League: Barcelona vs. Arsenal
Reigning European champions FC Barcelona host Arsenal tonight for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at Camp Nou.
The Premier League club will be without the injured Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and William Gallas, along with the suspended Andrey Arshavin, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes his men can pull off another win on one of Europe’s biggest stages.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out for Barca as is their suspended defensive pairing of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique. According to reports, Gabriel Milito and Rafa Marquez are likely to play in central defense for the La Liga side in place of the suspended duo.
Ibrahimovic, who scored a brace at the Emirates during their first leg encounter against Arsenal, will stay on the sidelines after picking up a calf injury on Saturday’s 4-1 win at home to Athletic Bilbao.
However, the Catalans could welcome back midfielder Andres Iniesta for tonight’s clash after missing last week’s 2-2 draw at the Emirates because of a hamstring problem. If he starts, it is expected that Iniesta will partner Xavi Hernandez in the midfield.
Pep Guardiola’s team is definitely the heavy favorite. Eliminating the North Londoners tonight means Barca are just two matches away from a Champions League final at the Bernabeu.
The game starts at 20:45 CET.
UPDATE: Lionel Messi scored four goals as Barca defeated the Gunners 4-1 (6-3 on agg) to reach the Champions League semifinals for the third straight year.