Barca wins. That’s the easy part. Except, I have a feeling this is not a foregone conclusion. Here’s why its obvious:
1. Arsenal’s personnel issues: No Cesc or Arshavin to attack and no Song or Gallas to defend. That leaves Campbell at the center of defense playing his second game in three days.
2. Barca is playing at the Nou Camp
3. Barca has better depth to deal with its missing personnel: Assume Messi starts. Barca then has to pick two from Henry, Krkic, Iniesta (if he’s fit) and Pedro. No problems really there. Yes, Pique and Puyol are missing. But they beat United with Puyol at right back and Yaya in the center with Pique and Sylvinho playing left back! So,in the center and Abidal or Maxwell at left back. You could also move Abidal to the middle and use Maxwell at left. Shouldn’t be an issue. Then you can play Sergio, Keita and maybe even Rafa Marquez as the defensive midfielders around Xavi.
That said, Arsenal have nothing to lose, are used to playing on a big field and have skillful players to make it happen. The key is to keep it close. If they can get to the half only 2-1 down, they have a great shot. Rosicky, Denilson, Eboue, Walcott, Nasri behind Bendtner is pretty decent. Eduardo off the bench if they need another goal late. They have a shot. However, lots have to go their way. Absolutely can happen. If Messi is kept quiet again, Barca will lose – you heard that here.