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Team-1: Arsenal (England)
Manager: Arsene Wenger (France)
Team-2: FC Barcelona (Spain)
Manager: Josep Guardiola (Spain)
Crux of the matter: This one completed the perfect three for the recaps of last season. Although the two European powerhouses had faced each other at a higher stage in the competition, they looked far apart in terms of competence. This time around too, the gulf in talent and skills is likely to reappear as the London giants Arsenal face the arguably the best club team of all time, FC Barcelona.
Arsenal coach Wenger had suffered a humiliation in the quarter final during his previous meeting with Josep Guardiola and he would be much charged up to settle the score with the Spanish.
In Samir Nasri, Arsenal have found a potential threat to cause disturbances in the Barcelona midfield. Nasri being a prospect that can anticipate and break Barcelona’s never ending spree of precision one-touch play, Arsenal may fare better than the last season.
However, Barcelona would not exactly be a bothered lot and all they need to do is, nothing special. They do these things week in, week out.
Another aspect that makes this clash so special is Arsenal icon Cesc Fabregas’ desire and inclination to play for the Catalan outfit. He scored against his dream club last time around; it would be interesting to see how he does against them probably for one last time before joining them.
Key battle to watch out for: Samir Nasri vs. Sergio Busquets in the Barcelona half of the midfield.
Predicted success rate: Arsenal FC 2/10
FC Barcelona 8/10