Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin is relishing the prospect of facing Andres Iniesta when his side meet Barcelona in the Champions League last-16.
Coquelin was rested for the FA Cup draw with Hull City on Saturday but is expected to return to the starting line-up against the European champions at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old admitted it is a daunting task to play against Spain’s World Cup-winning midfielder but is excited to prove his worth against Luis Enrique’s side.
“He is a player I really like,” he told Arsenal Player. “Every player they have got is almost the best in every position. Playing Iniesta is going to be tough, but I’m ready for it and I’m looking forward to it.
“Any player wants to play players at this level and I’m ready for it if I’m involved. Everyone wants to play these types of games. We are really looking forward to it.”
Barca are favourites to progress to the quarter-finals but Coquelin hopes the Gunners take some belief from their victory over Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich during the group stage.
“Barcelona are probably the best team in the world at the moment. We are obviously looking forward to it even if it is really tough. Hopefully we can do something against such a massive team,” he said.
“Everyone needs to be at 100 per cent and I don’t think we need to play with fear. We need to be ready and believe we can do something.
“If we have that belief, we can do great things. We showed that in the past against Bayern Munich a few months ago. Not many people said we could win this game and we showed we can compete with great teams as well.”
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