Jamie Carragher states his prediction for Arsenal v Barcelona

Jamie Carragher looks ahead to Arsenal's crunch Champions League clash with Barcelona

Jamie Carragher is backing Barcelona to claim a 2-1 win at Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday night.

The Gunners head into the game as the heavy underdogs to reach the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2010.

Arsenal have shown that they can mix it with Europe’s top teams at The Emirates this season as they secured an impressive 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the group stage back in October.

However, former Liverpool defender Carragher is not expecting to see Arsenal beat the La Liga champions on Tuesday night.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Carragher said: “The best hope Arsenal have of getting a first-leg advantage is to forget about trying to out-pass Barcelona and instead play a more direct style.

“They have to look to exploit Javier Mascherano’s lack of height by firing balls into Olivier Giroud.

“Arsenal had success against Bayern Munich in the group stage, when Giroud scored the first in a 2-0 win at The Emirates Stadium, playing in such a way and that is something they need to remember.”

Asked for his prediction, he added: “Barcelona are unstoppable and win 2-1.”

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.

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The north London side have lost the first leg at home in each of their last three round of 16 ties.

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