Last night saw a very, very good performance from the new bookies favorites to win the Champions League. If Villareal can out Arsenal us what chance have we got against this mob?
Looking at it from a player on player basis. I will start with Clichy on Lionel Messi. Messi always seems to cut in from the right, therefore Clichy will be turned like a top trying to use his left foot. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Mr Wenger OBE likes to play right footed players on the other side of the pitch. Pires and Nasri being examples, when they play against a right footed right back they sit him on his arse.
Sagna versus Henry on the left, nearly exactly the same thing only vice versa. The only thing we can hope is that Henry freezes on the big stage .. Yea right That was another myth, he will be firing, he is bound to pass Bacary at least a few times and we will need cover.. Theo or Eboue?.. It would be fun to see Henry trying to outpace Walcott ..
Eto’o mmmm here lies a big problem now that Gallas is out for the season, if not forever for us. Gallas would have done a job on him I cannot see Djourou being as effective.
Song and Denilson will be up against Xavi and Iniesta, as long as we sit back and not get caught too far up field, we should be okay if we close down quickly.
It could be Fabregas or Nasri coming up against Yaya, but as Arshavin is cup tied that will probably mean Nasri on the left in our formation. The right back being Alves. There would be plenty of running and tracking back for Samir.
On our right Theo will be up against Puyol, can his experience make up for the sheer pace of Walcott? In fact this could be the one game where he will shine, quick counter attacking football.
Up front I have a feeling that the secret weapon will be Diaby if fit . He will be in the gap between Yaya and the central defence made up of Marquez and Pique. Ade will have to be up for this game and fully fit and better than his best to get the better of these two in a 4-5-1.
We are okay in the goalkeeping dept as I would expect Almunia to be fit for this one, even allowing for AIT (Arsenal Injury Time) which is twice as long as a player should be out for..
We cannot do like we did at Villareal and just stroll out, hopefully we have learned a lesson from that, It also gave us a clue to how strong the teams in la Liga are so the surprise factor should be gone too.
So to sum up .. can we beat Barcelona? If Jonjon says we can, then we will..