Emirates skipper can’t wait for tonight’s big Barcelona clash.
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Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas says he is relishing the prospect of playing at Camp Nou for the first time against Barcelona.
The Spanish ace is expected to run out for the Gunners in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League last-16 clash after shrugging off a hamstring knock.
Fabregas has never played at Barca’s legendary stadium in competitive match, leaving his boyhood club for Arsenal before he got the chance.
“I’ve never played in the Nou Camp before and this will be one of the most exciting nights of my career, to finally have the chance to take to the pitch at this mythical stadium is something I cannot fully describe.
“The feeling is enormous and incredibly exciting.”
Despite being heavily linked with a move back to Barca last summer, Fabregas is adamant helping the Gunners to victory is his only focus.
And the midfielder believes Tuesday’s showdown is a perfect opportunity for Arsenal to stake their claim for silverware after missing out on the Carling Cup to Birmingham late last month.
“We have played so many games where we shown we have character, we have potential and that we are the present,” said the skipper, who was sidelined for the cup decider at Wembley.
“We want to win things for the club and this is obviously a fantastic exam for all of us a team and individually.”
The Spain midfielder is close friends with several members of the Barcelona side having shared World Cup success with a number of them last summer.
He said: “I believe it is a big boost for Arsenal that two of my close friends – Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique – are not playing this evening as the former is injured while the latter is suspended.” (Sky Sports)
It is no surprise that Cesc Fabregas is excited about tonight’s clash, it seems the entire footballing world is looking forward to the meeting of two of the world’s most fluid attack minded sides facing off at the Nou Camp and clearly the occasion has special significance for the former Barcelona youth team player who will be looking to put in a solid display to help his side take full advantage of their narrow lead from the first leg.
Wenger has talked about putting an attacking side out for the second leg and will have to hope that his side do not capitulate as they did last year when they saw their 1-0 lead obliterated by Leo Messi’s four goal haul. The back four for Arsenal will be key tonight and whilst it sounds like a cliche, the first 30 minutes will be of huge importance.
If Barcelona score in that period then the onus well and truly shifts to them but if Arsenal hold out and can confidently repel the home side’s advances then they could well edge it. The North London side may have Robin Van Persie available as the Dutchman is part of the squad but is still struggling to fully recover from the knee injury he sustained in the Carling Cup Final.