Lionel Messi believes that Arsenal will struggle at Camp Nou.
The Spanish champions suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Gunners at the Emirates in the first leg of their last-16 tie in the Champions League last month, and will aim to overhaul that deficit this week in Catalunya where the two sides confront each other once again.
Both Barcelona and Arsenal have an attacking philosophy and play passing football, but Messi believes that this will only act in their favour.
“We remain confident of progressing," said the 23-year-old, according to Mirrorfootball.co.uk. “Obviously we were bitterly disappointed to lose the first leg at the Emirates and felt we created more than enough chances to win the game.
“But it will be a different story in Spain. I’m not sure Arsenal are a side who can play to defend – and that will leave them very open.”
A 1-0 win will be enough for Barca to progress to the quarter-finals on the away goals rule but Messi says that it is not what they plan to do.
He continued: “We’re incapable of doing that (of scoring early and then defending). It’s not the way we play football. If we score once we look to score more goals regardless of the situation.
“We are a side that will always create chances. It’s important for us to be clinical and ruthless in front of goal with so much at stake.
“Our elimination at the hands of Inter last season has served to motivate us even more. We have not considered the prospect of elimination even after the first leg defeat against Arsenal.”
Speaking on the potential absence of the injured Cesc Fabregas from the Arsenal team, the Argentine international commented, “It will be a devastating blow if he doesn’t play for Arsenal.
"He’s a big threat and so influential for them. If he failed to play it would make our job far easier.”
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