Martin Keown pinpoints what Arsenal must do to beat Barcelona

Martin Keown looks ahead to Arsenal's Champions League showdown with Barcelona

Martin Keown has told Arsenal that they must stop Barcelona from getting into their rhythm when the Spanish giants travel to Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Gunners host the La Liga side in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash in north London.

Arsenal have failed to progress past the last 16 stage of Europe’s elite club competition for the last five seasons and have their work cut out if they are to avoid another exit this year.

However, former Arsenal defender Keown feels that the north London side can draw inspiration from their 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League earlier this season.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Keown said: “Arsene Wenger probably watches Barcelona every night before he goes to bed. Theirs is the ultimate form of creative football. But Arsenal cannot sit and admire them. The last thing you want to see is Barcelona working the ball around for fun.

“We’ve seen Arsenal beat Bayern Munich this season but on that night they could barely get the ball off them. They rode their luck and took their chances but they stayed in a good shape. They didn’t always press the ball but against Barcelona they will have to do that more. You can’t let Barcelona get in their rhythm.

“The problem is doing that for 90 minutes. For Arsene Wenger his preparations are normally 95 per cent about his own team but he and the coaching staff will be working hard to find areas to expose.”

Arsenal are currently preparing for their FA Cup fifth-round clash with Hull City at Emirates Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

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The Gunners are third in the Premier League table and two points behind leaders Leicester City heading into the final 12 games of the season.

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