Following the frustrating draw against Hull City in the FA Cup, Arsenal welcome Barcelona to the Emirates stadium in what will surely be the Gunners’ toughest game of the season so far. Now despite Arsenal’s poor form in front of goal, we all know that Arsene Wenger’s side possess the firepower to score against any team but the biggest challenge come Tuesday night will be to defend against the lethal Messi-Suarez-Neymar trio.
As a result of the hamstring injury to Gabriel, Arsenal are most likely to play Per Mertesacker in central defence alongside Laurent Koscielny, which is a bit suicidal if you ask me. Simply put, one precise through ball could put the big German out of the game as he simply does not have the pace to cope up with any of the Barcelona forwards.
Personally, I would opt instead to play Calum Chambers. Now while I do understand that the former Southampton youngster is not any speedster either, I feel he is better equiped to deal with the frontline of the European champions. He looked good at centre-half when he came on to replace Koscielny against Leicester and I believe that the Englishman is capable of doing a job against Barcelona as well.
Should Mertesacker start the game, then Arsenal will be forced to sit deep in their own half and welcome the Catalan giants to attack, which will not work out well for the Gunners either. In my opinion, Arsene Wenger can play Chambers and give him some extra protection instead of playing Mertesacker and risking a mauling at the Emirates stadium.