By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has made history with Arsenal in the Bernabeu and twice in the San Siro - but victory at the Nou Camp on Tuesday would probably top the lot.
Few gave his team a chance when they travelled to Spain to face Real Madrid in 2006 but a Thierry Henry strike secured the first victory for an English club at that famous venue. Equally, Arsenal were written off ahead of trips to Italy to take on Inter and AC Milan but the Serie A giants were humbled 5-1 and 2-0 respectively.
Given Arsenal's injury list - Alex Song joined the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin, William Gallas and Robin van Persie on the sidelines ahead of the second leg - a win against the European champions in their own backyard would eclipse any previous Wenger success in Europe. And the Frenchman sees Tuesday night's Quarter-Final as a chance to upset the odds.
"I believe that we have won everywhere in Europe and that is one place we haven’t done it yet," said Wenger. "That is a good opportunity I think. There is no better opportunity to achieve this than tomorrow night.
"I am confident despite the injuries we have that we can do it. Of course we will need to get everybody 100 per cent of his potential tomorrow night and certainly have a great team performance. But this team has such mental strengths and I believe they can fight against the odds anywhere in the world and I am confident they will do it tomorrow."
The fact that Arsenal have a foothold in the tie is impressive in itself given the evidence of the first hour of last week's first leg. Barcelona put on a show in the first half at Emirates Stadium and eventually got the goals they deserved early in the second half. But Arsenal dug deep to rescue a draw and keep their Champions League dream alive.
Wenger expects Barcelona to afford his team plenty of respect in light of that gutsy comeback but, equally, he knows Arsenal cannot afford to be second best from the first whistle this time around.
"I believe that Barcelona has certainly learned that there will not be an easy task for them from the first game," said the manager.
"We have learned from the first game that it is important that we start with full power without any inhibition. How we do that will certainly have a big, big influence on the game and on the result tomorrow night."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source