Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has backed his old side to beat Barcelona over two legs in their Champions League last-16 tie and go on to reach the final.
The Gunners host the reigning European champions this evening in the first game of their double-header after emerging from Group F despite a difficult start.
With Barca, arguably, the best club side on the planet, boasting a fearsome front three in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, many have all but written off the Londoners’ chances of progressing further in the competition.
But Silva, who was part of the famous 2003/04 ‘Invincibles’ Arsenal team, speaking exclusively to 888sport, claimed that he feels his former club have a “great chance” against the La Liga giants and that they can even go all the way to final:
“Arsenal will have to work very hard to stop them [Barcelona] as they are doing brilliantly this season.
“Neymar is getting better game by game and the way Barcelona play is unbelievable. For sure when you play a team like this you cannot allow yourself to make a single mistake.
“This is a game everybody wants to play in and Arsenal must be ready.
“They have a great chance to beat them and make the final again. It’s been a long time now.
“If they want to make the final there’s no other way. Barcelona lose sometimes. Not very often but it happens.”
Arsenal’s last Champions League Final appearance was against Barca at the Stade de France in 2006, a game they lost 2-1.
Read the full 888sport interview with Gilberto Silva here, including how he thinks Francis Coquelin can boost Arsenal to the title.