Arsenal’s Coquelin relishing challenge of stopping Barca stars

There seems to be one player in particular that the Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin is looking forward to pitting his wits against when Arsenal take on Barcelona in the massive Champions League match at the Emirates tonight.

And with the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in their star studded side you might be surprised to hear that the player is the Spain international Andres Iniesta. Perhaps it is because, as a defensive midfielder, Francis Coquelin is more likely to be in direct opposition to the brilliant Iniesta, but the Frenchman is clearly looking forward to facing the attacking midfield threat of Iniesta.

He told Arsenal Player, “He is a player I really like. Every player they have got is almost the best in every position. Playing Iniesta is going to be tough, but I’m ready for it and I’m looking forward to it.

“Any player wants to play players at this level and I’m ready for it if I’m involved. Everyone wants to play these types of games. We are really looking forward to it.

“Barcelona are probably the best team in the world at the moment. We are obviously looking forward to it even if it is really tough. Hopefully we can do something against such a massive team.

“Everyone needs to be at 100 per cent and I don’t think we need to play with fear. We need to be ready and believe we can do something.

“If we have that belief, we can do great things. We showed that in the past against Bayern Munich a few months ago. Not many people said we could win this game and we showed we can compete with great teams as well.”

I get the idea that part of Arsene Wenger’s plans for this game is for Coquelin to stop Iniesta having his usual influence, just as he did with Man City and David Silva in that away win last season which started Arsenal’s new found success in these big games.

So can Le Coq do the business again tonight?

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