Tag Archives: Arsenal

Fabregas rumours heating up, after Wigan extinguish Arsenal fire

It looks like Barcelona are not only facing a tug of war with Real Madrid for the La Liga crown, but also for the services of Cesc Fabregas this summer, with rumours rife that a meeting between his father and Florentino Perez has taken place, starting to circulate in the Spanish press.

Fabregas has been consistently linked with a move back to Catalonia in the summer, as Arsenal look to end another season empty handed, but Real have emerged as serious contenders for his signature, as they look to throw money at their side which has again fallen short of its expectations for this campaign.

It is believed that Fabregas Snr attended the La Liga clash with Valencia on Sunday, before holding talks with Perez, and that Madrid are now poised to bid £60million for the midfielder in the summer, a move likely to start a bidding war with Barca, who have been linked with him for the past two seasons.

I think it would make more sense for Fabregas to head to Madrid, as he would walk straight into the side, whereas at Barca there is always the chance that he’ll be playing second fiddle to Xavi and Iniesta.

A great player no doubt, but whether or not he is on their level just yet I’m not sure, as he struggles to get in the Spain side as it is at the moment when those two are fit.

It could be an interesting summer for the two Spanish giants, especially if Barca lose out in the title race and Champion’s League, which is a possibility after letting Madrid back in the title race at the weekend and losing to Inter 3-1 last night.

I can’t see Fabregas waiting around at Arsenal much longer as they continue to miss out on silverwear season after season.

It’s likely that his father and agents are sounding out both clubs to see where he’ll get the best deal, as to me it looks as though his heart is set on being in Spain and not the Premier League.

If I had to put money on it though, I think he’ll be playing at Barca next season, as the temptation of playing for his boyhood club again will probably be the factor that sways the Spaniards decision.

Arsenal can stop Barca!

It is a very big ask of Arsene Wenger’s side, but I firmly believe that they have what it takes to beat Barcelona tonight in the first leg at the Emirates.

Whether or not they can win the tie though, I am not so sure.

Although Barcelona are unbeaten away in Europe this season, they were extremely lucky on their visit to the capital against Chelsea last season and I think that they will struggle again this time around. Mallorca could have been 3-0 up against the catalan side by half-time on Saturday had it not been for some bad luck and poor finishing.

Wenger’s men will try to play football against Barca as they haven’t got the players to pose a physical threat, and I think with Pique half-fit and the possible inclusion of a slow Gabriel Milito they can expose a few cracks in their defence.

For Pep Guardiola’s side attack is considered the best form of defence and Arsenal will need to put them on the back foot early on and try to take control of the game from the off.

If they let Messi and Pedro run one-on-one at their centre halfs and allow Barca to grow in confidence, then they will stand little chance of winning this tie. Their best chance lies in playing as much of the game as they can in the final third of the field and suffocating any service to the flanks if Barca attempt to play on the break.

If Barcelona click then it is unlikely Arsenal or anyone can stop them. I think the opening 20 minutes will be massive in this tie and see Arsenal winning tonight but with Barcelona turning it around in the Nou Camp in the second leg.

It promises to be a fascinating tie.

Tonight’s Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona

Spanish pair clash in Europa draw

Atletico Madrid and Valencia have been drawn to face each other in the tie of the round in the Europa League Quarter-final draw.

The two La Liga sides meet for the first leg at Valencia’s Mestella on Thursday 1st April, with the return in Madrid just a week later on April 8th.

It ruins any dreams of an all-Spanish final, but promises to be an intriguing battle nonetheless.

The winners of the tie face a tough semi-final draw in which they will be paired against the winner of Liverpool’s encounter with Benfica.

In the Champion’s League Barcelona face Arsenal in their quarter-final, which will see Thierry Henry return to face his former club for the first time since his move to the Catalan giants in June 2007.

The winner of that tie will face either Inter Milan or CSKA Moscow in the semi-finals.

Champion’s League Draw:

Lyon vs Bordeaux

Bayern Munich vs Manchester United

Arsenal vs Barcelona

Inter Milan vs CSKA Moscow

Europa League Draw:

Fulham vs Wolfsburg

Hamburg vs Standard Liege

Valencia vs Atletico Madrid

Benfica vs Liverpool