Date: 23rd February 2016 at 5:16pm
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Arsenal once again face Barcelona in the first-leg of their last-16 Champions League tie at the Emirates on Tuesday night.

The Catalan giants have the formidable three up front, while the Gunners have the likes of Petr Cech and Mesut Ozil in their ranks.

But who would make the two sides’ combined XI?

Here are Shoot’s choices….

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech (Arsenal)

For us, there can only be one choice. While Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are both capable goalkeepers, Cech is world-class and has been for more than a decade now.

The former Chelsea stopper has undoubtedly already made a difference for Arsenal this season, giving his defenders more confidence, while producing a number of stunning saves.

24 August 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Liverpool - Arsenal goalkeeper, Petr Cech - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has been one of the signings of the season in the Premier League.

Right-Back: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)

One of the hardest decisions we had to make was at right-back, but we have opted for the young Spanish full-back over the experienced Brazilian.

Bellerin has really nailed down his spot in the Arsenal team, and is now, arguably, the best right-back in the Premier League.

When Barcelona eventually look for a replacement for Alves, they may have their eyes on the young Spaniard.

Centre-Back: Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

Barcelona are certainly known for their attacking prowess rather than their defensive work, but there is no doubt that Pique is a top centre-back, as he has shown over the years both for his club, and his country, Spain.

When making the decision between him and Per Mertesacker, we opted for the Spaniard because

Centre-Back: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)

Partnering Pique will be Arsenal’s star centre-half, Koscielny.

The Frenchman has come on leaps and bounds since making the move to the Emirates, and like his defensive team-mate Bellerin, could arguably be considered as the best in his position currently in the Premier League.

Left-Back: Jordi Alba (Barcelona)

Nacho Monreal has certainly proved himself to be one of the best and most reliable full-backs in the Premier League over the course of the last 18 months, but it is hard to look past the class of Alba.

The Barcelona left-back has all the attributes a modern-day player in his position requires, and his ability to provide a real threat in the opposition half adds another dimension to this incredible Barca side.

12 May 2015 - Uefa Champions League - Bayern Munich v FC Barcelona - Robert Lewandowski of Bayern tries to get past Sergio Busquets of Barca.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich tries to get past Sergio Busquets.

Defensive Midfielder: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

This was probably one of the easiest decisions to make, because whereas Francis Coquelin has been impressive since breaking into the Arsenal first-team, Busquets is one of the best on the planet in this position.

The Spain international has won it all with club and country, and rumours suggest that Pep Guardiola will look to bring him to the Premier League when he takes over as Manchester City manager in the summer.

Right-Central Midfielder: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

While the choice of Busquets was relatively easier, the decision with Iniesta was a little more difficult as we had to make a decision between the Barcelona legend and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.

However, we have opted for the Spaniard who can do both the simple and the spectacular, dictating matches from his midfield position.

Left-Central Midfielder: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

This was an easy one. With 17 assists in 24 Premier League matches this season, the Germany international is on fire.

The creative midfielder has also shown more leadership and taken on more defensive responsibility for his team this term, which means that he is well in the running to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Right-Wing: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Striker: Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Left-Wing: Neymar (Barcelona)

Who else but this trio? The front three pick themselves in our side after scoring a remarkable 91 goals between them so far this season, and I don’t think anyone could argue that the likes of Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez deserve to be in the team instead.

While Arsenal may feel that they can attack Barcelona on Tuesday night, they will have to at their best at the back to stop the formidable trio up front.

Here is our XI. Do you agree? Comment and tell us who would be in yours?

Arsenal_Barca
 
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