Jamie Redknapp says Arsenal will need a lot of luck and a first-leg lead if they are to avoid another Barca beating.
Last Updated: 16/02/11 11:23am
Jamie Redknapp says Arsenal will need Lady Luck to smile on them if they are going to make it past the mighty Barcelona.
The Catalans have only lost once in 37 competitive games this season and head to The Emirates for their Champions League knockout stage first leg as firm favourites to win the competition outright.
But their 16-match winning streak came to an end with Sunday's 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon which left coach Pep Guardiola claiming some of his star-studded - but small - squad are feeling the strain.
And Redknapp says the best Arsenal - or anyone - can hope for is that Barcelona are well below their best on Wednesday night.
"It's not a great draw for Arsenal - what can you do against a team like Barcelona?" he told Sky Sports News.
"At times you have to ride your luck and as many good players as Arsenal have got, the one place they are at their weakest is at the back - and that's where Barcelona are at their strongest."
Last season Lionel Messi scored all four as Barca battered Arsene Wenger's men 4-1 in the second leg of their quarter-final clash to secure a 6-3 aggregate win.
The Gunners though, did hold their own at home with a 2-2 draw and Redknapp says if they are to stand any chance of avenging last year's loss, they have to head into the away leg even better off.
"They're going to have to try and get to the Nou Camp with a lead because Barcelona destroyed Arsenal last year, it was as simple as that," he said.
"They played them off the park, some of the football they played was delightful and they (Arsenal) couldn't live with Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and now they've added David Villa to the equation, they're actually a better team.
"They drew at the weekend and Guardiola was talking about how tired they were, so that might work in their favour, but they've just got to try and hang in there."
"Arsenal have some good footballers as well; Alex Song will have a key role to try and stop the flow in midfield.
"Cesc Fabregas will not have a point to prove, but I am sure he will be chomping and ready for this game because this is the sort of game where he will look to be the star man and show Barcelona what they are missing."
Arsenal's hopes have been boosted by the news that Samir Nasri has been named in their squad, although Abou Diaby is missing with a thigh injury and Bacary Sagna is suspended.
But while everyone is expecting Barca's work on the ball to provide the sternest test for Arsenal, Redknapp says it is how hard they work when they are not on possession that sets them apart.
"When you see the top players, it's now what they do when they have the ball it's what they do when they haven't got it - the pressure they put you under," he said.
"Everyone talks about Barcelona and how good they are on the ball, Xavi and Iniesta, but watch how hard they work when they haven't got it, how they work so hard and how they put people under pressure.
"They make you make mistakes and then they break - and that's what good players do."