Arsenal were unfortunate enough to have been given the dreaded Champions League draw in the first knockout round: a tie against defending champions Barcelona. Arsène Wenger's Premier League contenders will now bid to prove they've got what it takes to be competitive against the La Liga leaders, though they certainly head in as big underdogs. It could well be a case of them merely trying to keep their Catalan visitors from scoring an away goal on Tuesday.
Barcelona are the best team in Europe; at present, Bayern Munich are the only side that can claim to come close. They may no longer be the tiki-taka advocates of the Pep Guardiola era, but this Barça incarnation is arguably even better. They've added an unpredictability to their build-up play, matching swift and accurate passing with blistering pace and silky dribbling. Their front three of Neymar, Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi is verging on unfair, and they could destroy this Arsenal defence.
Key player: Francis Coquelin (Arsenal)
It may be slightly odd that the most unglamorous player on the pitch is our key man, but maybe, just maybe, he is. The young Frenchman has established himself as the Gunners' first-choice midfield anchorman over the last couple of seasons, though he's still yet to really convince. However, he'd move much closer to cementing his spot for the long haul with an impressive performance against Barcelona. Arsenal's centre-backs need all the help they can get, and Coquelin is the man who can provide it.
These sides have met three times in the Champions League over the last decade, with Barcelona emerging victorious (on aggregate) on every occasion. They won 2-1 in the final back in 2006, before picking up a 6-3 aggregate win four years later, and a 4-3 aggregate win a year further on. Suffice to say, the history books don't seem to make great reading for the Gunners. But then again, they can take comfort from the fact that Barça have still never won at the Emirates, having been held to a 2-2 draw in 2010, and been defeated 2-1 a year later.
Arsenal injuries and suspensions
Out: Tomáš Rosický (thigh); Santi Cazorla (knee); Jack Wilshere (leg). In doubt: Gabriel (hamstring).
Barcelona injuries and suspensions
Out: Rafinha (knee); Arda Turan (suspended). In doubt: None.
Arsenal will still be without their long-term injured midfield trio of Rosický, Cazorla and Wilshere; however, Wenger will be hopeful of having centre-back Gabriel back available after a hamstring injury.
Barcelona, meanwhile, have only two confirmed absentees: they'll be without Rafinha, who suffered an ACL injury on the Champions League's first match day, and his midfield counterpart Arda Turan, who serves a one-match ban.
Match date/time: Tues., 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. local
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
TV: FOX Sports 1 (U.S. - English); ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish); TSN5 (Canada); BT Sport Europe (U.K.)
Online: FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2GO, Watch ESPN (U.S.); BT Sport live streaming (U.K.)