There were famous wins for North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the first legs of their Champions League round of 16 ties three weeks ago, but can they go a step further and knock-out two of Europe’s footballing giants?
Arsenal face undoubtedly the tougher challenge as they travel to Catalonia to defend their 2-1 lead against a Barcelona side who have won 18 of 21 home matches this season. Josep Guardiola’s men crushed the Gunners 4-1 at Camp Nou in last year’s quarter-finals with Lionel Messi scoring four times.
Has Wenger’s young squad natured enough in the last year to withstand the pressure of the Camp Nou? Having Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie back in the squad for the game will help the confidence in the Gunners camp.
At this time last year Barcelona were firing on all cylinders but that is not is not the case at the moment. Barca have not been impressive in recent La Liga games and will be without Puyol and Pique for this game. It might just be the right time for Arsenal to get Barcelona.
Tottenham wrote the most captivating page yet of the fairy tale that has been their debut campaign in the Champions League when Peter Crouch gave them a 1-0 first-leg victory at a rain-soaked San Siro.
Milan will be without inspiration leader Gennaro Gattuso who is suspended for the game. Spurs are a perfect 4 for 4 in home games in the Champions League, while AC Milan have won one time in England in 14 visits.
Spurs will be buoyed by the return of Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale for tomorrow nights game. Both have been in super form and their return will probably mean the difference to reaching the quarter-finals or getting knocked out.