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Barcelona vs. Arsenal
Tuesday, 19:45 GMT/2:45 EST
After an epic battle at Emirates Stadium on February 16, Barcelona and Arsenal face off at Camp Nou on Tuesday with Arsenal leading the Champions League Round-of-16 series on aggregate, 2-1.
The last match lived up to the feverish build up, and tomorrow's clash has offered similar anticipation. Robin van Persie played all 90 minutes, and scored in the 78th minute off a shot where Victor Valdes was poorly positioned.
For Tuesday's meeting, van Persie may be an unexpected addition. The Dutch forward has been battling a knee injury but may be fit for the match. Should van Persie miss the match, it's likely Nicklas Bendtner would be brought on to replace him.
It appears Cesc Fabregas will be in the lineup. Apparently, the captain has a "90 percent" chance of playing against Barcelona, a team he's been rumored to join for quite some time. This is surprising and very positive news for manager Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners could use any type of boost after poor recent results.
On Saturday, Arsenal was only able to manage a tie against Sunderland at Emirates Stadium, and lost to Birmingham on a botched clearance in the League Cup Final.
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola believes that Arsenal is mentally fit for the match despite some of Arsenal's recent setbacks.
"I keep hearing about the fragility in the minds of the Arsenal players, but I do not agree," Guardiola said. "They are competing with Manchester United for the Premier League, reached the final of the Carling Cup and a few seasons ago were in the final of the Champions League."
The Gunners have been playing a long stretch without their lead goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski. In his place, Wojciech Szczesny has done a more than serviceable job .
Alex Song will be inactive for the match due to injury, though Wenger confirmed Jack Wilshere will be available.
The Catalans aren't at full strength for the match with Gerard Pique suspended and Carlos Puyol still nursing a knee injury.
Barcelona remains a dominant force in La Liga. Since the Arsenal loss, the Catalans have won all four of their matches, not in typical thrashings but still by a combined score of 7-2.
Barcelona is especially tough at Camp Nou, and Wenger knows his side can expect Barcelona to play at their top form at home despite the unavailability of Pique and Puyol.
Barcelona is led by a fine goal-scoring duo. David Villa scored in the last meeting, and scored in the two La Liga matches that followed. Villa came on as a substitute in the last Barcelona match in the 66 th minute, so he should be well rested.
Lionel Messi failed to score in the February 16 match, so expect inspired play from the clever striker.