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Koscielny relishing MSN challenge

Laurent Koscielny is confident Arsenal can spring a surprise in their Champions League tie with Barcelona, where his is relishing pitting his wits against football’s most famous forward line.

France centre-back Koscielny will be in the sights of formidable trio Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar on Tuesday, when Luis Enrique’s men contest the first leg of the last-16 tie at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the 2010 and 2011 knockout stages and have bowed out at this round in each of the past three seasons.

Nevertheless, Koscielny believes a backline bolstered by influential goalkeeper Petr Cech can overturn the odds and secure a quarter-final place.

“Just by looking at their statistics you see that they have the best offensive armada in Europe or even the world,” he told Telefoot.

“You just have to enjoy yourself and give 100 per cent to get a good result.

“Yes it’s possible [for Arsenal to win]. We have a great goalkeeper and beyond that when you talk about defence it’s not only the back four. The whole team have to make the link between each line.

“If we’re required – and we’ve already done it in certain Premier League matches – to play deep, to know how to defend together and afterwards to counter them, we have a chance of getting a good result against Barca.”

Despite losing on aggregate in 2011, Arsenal won their home leg 2-1 against Barcelona thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin.

Mon 22 Feb, 2016
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