Alan Smith states bold prediction for Barcelona v Arsenal

Alan Smith isn't writing Arsenal off despite trailing Barcelona 2-0 from the first leg of Champions League last-16 clash

Alan Smith believes Arsenal could force extra-time at Camp Nou if Arsene Wenger’s players produce a mature performance against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Gunners will be looking to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit in the last-16 clash after Lionel Messi’s brace secured a commanding lead for Barcelona.

Arsenal have won just one game since their Champions League defeat at the Emirates Stadium, including two Premier League losses and an FA Cup exit at the hands of Watford.

However, former Gunners striker Smith is hoping the north Londoners could spring a surprise and force extra-time against the Champions League holders despite their recent poor form.

“When the draw was made, every expected Arsenal to go out of the Champions League so people can’t get too carried away by being eliminated by Barcelona,” Smith told Sky Sports.

“The fans will be looking at what sort of attitude they show now, they want to see a committed performance at the Camp Nou and they’ll certainly not want to witness an embarrassment.

“They have to be organised and disciplined and not go gung-ho, after all they could score late on to force extra-time – you never know! It’s time for a mature performance.”

The Gunners are bidding 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 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.

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

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