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Arsenal seek change of fortune against Barça

Arsenal will be seeking a positive first-leg result against Barcelona in London as they bid to avoid a third knockout defeat by the UEFA Champions League holders this decade.

Background: Arsenal v Barcelona ©AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal FC hope it will be a case of third time lucky when they host FC Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

• The Premier League side have lost their two previous two-legged knockout ties against Barcelona, who also won in England at this stage of the competition in 2014 and 2015.

Previous meetings
• Arsenal came from behind to beat Barcelona 2-1 when the teams last met in London in the 2010/11 round of 16, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin overturning David Villa's first-half goal.

• Barcelona recovered with a 3-1 second-leg success in which Lionel Messi scored twice. Sergio Busquets had briefly given Arsenal hope with an own goal that made it 1-1.

• The lineups for the first leg at Arsenal on 16 February 2011 were:
Arsenal: Szczęsny, Eboué, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Song (Arshavin 68), Wilshere, Fàbregas, Nasri, Walcott (Bendtner 77), Van Persie.
Barcelona: Valdés, Dani Alves, Piqué, Abidal, Maxwell, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta (Adriano 89), Pedro, Messi, Villa (Keita 68).

• The previous season Messi had scored all four Barcelona goals in a 4-1 second-leg quarter-final triumph over Arsenal. Arsène Wenger's men had given themselves hope in the first leg by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 through Theo Walcott and Cesc Fàbregas (penalty).

• Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2006 final at Stade de France with Samuel Eto'o and Juliano Belletti scoring late on to overturn Sol Campbell's strike for an Arsenal side reduced to ten men by the first-half dismissal of Jens Lehmann.

• Luis Enrique scored in both matches when the clubs met in the 1999/2000 first group stage. The Barcelona coach found the net in his side's 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou and again in a 4-2 win at Wembley.

Watch moments of Messi magic
Watch moments of Messi magic

Match background

• The Gunners are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

• They reached the knockout stage for the 16th season running thanks to a 3-0 win at Olympiacos FC on 9 December. They had lost three of their first four group games but finished as group runners-up thanks to a superior head-to-head record against Olympiacos.

• Arsenal have lost the first leg at home in each of their last three round of 16 ties – against FC Bayern München (2013, 2014) and AS Monaco FC (2015).

• Arsenal's home record against Liga opposition is W8 D3 L2.

• Arsenal have won five of their eight previous two-legged ties against Spanish clubs in UEFA competition. Their last success was a 4-1 aggregate quarter-final victory over Villarreal CF in 2008/09.

• Aside from the 2006 loss to Barcelona, Arsenal have also lost European finals against Real Zaragoza (1995 European Cup Winners' Cup) and Valencia CF (1980 European Cup Winners' Cup).

• Winners of Group E, Barcelona were one of only two teams to go through the group stage unbeaten, with an away record of W1 D2.

• The Catalan club are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the ninth consecutive season.

• Barcelona won at Manchester City FC in the round of 16 first leg in each of the previous two campaigns – 2-0 in 2014 and 2-1 in 2015.

• Barcelona's overall record away to English clubs is W8 D8 L14.

• In two-legged ties against English opposition in UEFA competition, their record is W13 L10.

• As well as overcoming Arsenal in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final, Barcelona also beat Manchester United FC in the 2009 (2-0) and 2011 (3-1) finals. They lost to United in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final (1-2).

Coach and player links
• As coach of AS Monaco FC, Wenger suffered home (0-1) and away (0-2) defeats by Barcelona in the 1993/94 group stage.

• Alexis Sánchez made 141 appearances for Barcelona (2011–14), scoring 47 goals. His honours with the club included the 2012 Copa del Rey and 2013 Spanish title.

Petr Čech v Lionel Messi
Petr Čech v Lionel Messi©Getty Images

• With Chelsea, Petr Čech faced Barcelona in two UEFA Champions League semi-finals, losing in 2008/09 – when beaten by a last-minute Andrés Iniesta goal – but winning in 2011/12. He also faced them twice in the round of 16, winning in 2004/05 but losing in 2005/06.

• Čech has not been beaten by Messi in six previous meetings between the pair.

• Mesut Özil faced Barcelona 16 times as a Real Madrid CF player (W4 D6 L6), including a 1-0 victory in the 2011 Copa del Rey final. He scored against them in the first leg (2-2) of the 2011 Spanish Super Cup but was sent off in the second leg (2-3).

• Nacho Monreal was sent off playing for Málaga CF in a Copa del Rey tie at Barcelona in January 2013. He won only one of ten matches against the Azulgrana with CA Osasuna and Málaga , suffering seven defeats.

• Santi Cazorla scored after two minutes of Villarreal's 3-1 Liga victory over Barcelona in October 2007. His overall record against the Blaugrana with Villarreal and Málaga was W2 D2 L9.

• Cazorla faced Claudio Bravo when his Spain side – also including Jordi Alba, Busquets and Iniesta – had their 2014 FIFA World Cup elimination sealed by a 2-0 reverse to Chile.

Héctor Bellerín
Héctor Bellerín©Getty Images

• Héctor Bellerín started out in Barcelona's youth academy before joining Arsenal in 2011. Mikel Arteta is another graduate of La Masia but left in 2001 for a loan spell at Paris Saint-Germain before signing for Rangers FC.

• Luis Suárez scored twice in five visits to Arsenal with Liverpool FC – in a 2-0 win in August 2011 and a 2-2 draw in January 2013.

• Thomas Vermaelen played for Arsenal between 2009 and 2014, making 110 Premier League appearances.

• Players who have played together:
Santi Cazorla & Jordi Alba, Marc Bartra, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta (Spain)
Mesut Özil & Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany)
Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud & Jérémy Mathieu (France)
Alexis Sánchez & Claudio Bravo (Chile)

Match facts

• Joel Campbell, Giroud and Özil are a booking away from a ban.

• Arsenal have lost only two of their last 18 matches in all competitions, winning 11 of them.

• The FA Cup holders were held 0-0 at home by Championship leaders Hull City AFC on Saturday; should they win the fifth-round replay, Arsenal will be at home to Watford FC in the quarter-finals.

• Making his first appearance since 26 April after overcoming a knee injury, Danny Welbeck headed the winning goal as Premier League leaders Leicester City FC were beaten 2-1 at home on 14 February.

• On 5 February, Tomáš Rosický was ruled out for up to three months with a thigh problem. He sustained the injury against Burnley FC on 30 January – his first outing for club or country in seven months.

• January signing Mohamed Elneny made his Arsenal debut in the 2-1 FA Cup triumph over Burnley.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Mohamed Elneny (FC Basel 1893)
Out: Glen Kamara (Southend United FC, loan), Mathieu Debuchy (FC Girondins de Bordeaux, loan)

• Piqué will incur a suspension with his next booking. Arda Turan serves a one-game ban.

• Barcelona are 32 matches unbeaten in all competitions since a 2-1 loss to Sevilla FC on 3 October.

• On 10 February, the Azulgrana made it a club record 29 games without defeat – bettering the mark set by Josep Guardiola's 2010/11 squad – when a much-changed side drew 1-1 at Valencia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

• Four goals from Suárez helped the holders to their biggest win of the campaign, 7-0, in the first leg.

• Suárez has scored 15 goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions. He has scored in his last six games in all competitions, providing 12 goals and five assists in that run.

• Barcelona will face Sevilla in their sixth Copa del Rey final in eight seasons.

• Messi surpassed the 300-goal mark in the Liga with a double in the 3-1 success at Real Sporting de Gijón on 17 February.

• Enrique brought up 100 fixtures in charge of Barça with a 2-0 win, his 80th victory, at Levante UD on 7 February.

• Rafinha (knee), injured on matchday one, was ruled out for six months after undergoing surgery on 22 September.

• Barça rounded off a splendid 2015 by winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, defeating Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC and CA River Plate 3-0.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Adrián Ortolá, Aleix Vidal (Sevilla FC), Arda Turan (Atlético Madrid)
Out: David Babunski, Juan Cámara, Alejandro Grimaldo (Benfica), Gerard Gumbau, José Aurelio Suárez