Thierry Henry states his prediction for Arsenal v Barcelona
Thierry Henry looks ahead to Arsenal's crunch clash with Barcelona on Tuesday night
Thierry Henry has told Arsenal that they must be prepared to sacrifice possession if they want to get a positive result against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Gunners are preparing to welcome the Spanish side to The Emirates and head into the game as the big underdogs to progress to the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
Arsenal have failed to make it past the last 16 of the Champions League for the last five years and know that they will have their work cut out if they want to knock out Barcelona over two legs.
Former Arsenal striker Henry is expecting the north London side to have as little as 30 per cent possession despite being at home on Tuesday.
Writing in his column for The Sun, Henry said: “Arsenal must play like they did when they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Emirates in October.
“They have to accept they will probably only have 30 per cent possession and must be so efficient when they do get the ball. They need everyone to put a shift in.
“The whole team must defend more as a unit and the wingers must tuck in and play more in their own half.
“You very rarely get the chance to play against Barcelona so you must be prepared to sacrifice parts of your attacking game, home and away.
“Arsenal must be brave on the ball. They need to stay compact, play on the counter and score every time they get in their penalty area.
“They can’t be exposed in the middle and must force Barcelona to run back 60 yards before they get the ball. If you allow them to stay in your half for wave after wave, it becomes almost impossible to defend.
“That is what happened to Arsenal in the return game against Bayern, when they were overrun and lost 5-1.
“They must make sure this tie is still alive when they go to the Nou Camp for the second leg next month, so even a 0-0 draw would be a reasonable result.
“But keeping a clean sheet against a team that has dominated world football for the last ten years is no easy task.”
Arsenal warmed up for their Champions League showdown with a disappointing goalless draw against Hull City in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.