Monday, 7 March 2011

Can Arsenal and Tottenham go through to the next round of the Champions League?

On the morning of Thursday March 10th 2011, football fans across London will be hoping their club have made it into the Quarter Finals of the Champions League: the greatest prize in the European game.

Arsenal play Barcelona at the Nou Camp while Spurs take on AC Milan at White Hart Lane.

Two great teams, one goal.

Both clubs hold a one goal advantage heading into the second leg- Arsenal came from behind to defeat Barca 2-1 while Tottenham left it late to earn a deserved 1-0 victory through Peter Crouch after sterling play by Aaron Lennon.

Come Thursday afternoon though, will both be through to the next round?

Well to put it bluntly, no. I don't think both will.

Tottenham, with their away goal already have a foot in the next round. I can see them at least drawing with AC, if not, putting in the required performance to take the win against the aging Italian side.

I am one of these people who just doesn't see "it" in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sure, he is a good player, but I don't see him as a 'great' player- I struggle to put him in the top echelon of world players.

AC are also without Renato Gattuso, their leader, talisman and thug which will be a huge loss for them and with Spurs scoring freely, (they scored 3 at the weekend), coupled with a rousing home support, I just can't look past them for this one.

Arsenal, on the other hand will be in the cauldron of noise that is the Nou Camp. The stage where they choked last year, although they were not quite in as good a position as they are now.

Barcelona also have an away goal, and it would be unthinkable that they will not score at home, and against a suspect Arsenal defense.

The Gunner's attack has also left much to the imagination in recent games and they really must pray Fabregas is fit if they are to have a chance of walking away still in the competition.

I find it hard when thinking about this game, to not see Messi and company stepping it up a gear and cruising past the English side.

Their football is just too fluid and too attacking to roll over and go out of the competition at this stage. I think the last game may well come as a wake up call to them.

Despite this, Arsenal are not without a chance.

They are in the superior position at this point and only need a draw to go through.

With players like Fabregas too, you should never rule out the Arsenal.

All in all though, I think Tottenham will go through and Arsenal will crash out, valiant losers once more.

I will be a close call though, and I've been wrong before.

What do you think?
Let me know.

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