The entire soccer world is getting ready for tomorrow’s UEFA Champions league face-off between Arsenal and FC Barcelona. Arsenal comes to this match with a lot of confidence following their consistently good performance in the EPL of late. Besides, they’ll be coming out to avenge their disgraceful loss to the Blaugrana boys in the same tournament last year. If you can remember, the gunners came to that game bragging and threatening to dunt FC Barcelona a good clattering. When they were beaten 4-1 convincingly by an unstoppable force of nature called Lionel Messi, they had to learn the hard way that when Barcelona is your opponent, there is no need for empty boasts and an exaggerated show of confidence.
Arsenal prides herself as being the team in the EPL that plays the most beautiful and entertaining football. Nevertheless, I think that after their ordeal at the hands of Barcelona last year, they must have found some new respect for the Barcelona team, and are not likely to approach this crucial encounter with exaggerated confidence. That does not mean however that Arsene Wenger and his boys will not give their very best in trying to prove to the world that they can beat any good team on any given day.
Barcelona, it has to be said, also needs to be wary of being too complacent; too self-assured of their invincibility, or too guarded. Since both teams play that free-flowing, multiple passes, gorgeous football, I expect a match filled with lots of dazzling individual skill as well as a clear demonstration of team cohesiveness. Barcelona should also not forget the rather disappointing result with Gijon last Saturday. It shows that with determination, Barcelona can still be made to draw or lose a game. The trick is to score against the Catalan Giants first and defend aggressively. Therefore Barcelona needs to exhibit a certain eagerness to show their fans that last Saturday’s match was just a slight road bump for better laid plans.
All in all, I expect a Barcelona victory. I predict that Barca will win 3-1.