Why Barcelona will derail Arsenal’s title bid

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Danny Welbeck’s dramatic late winner in Arsenal’s important 2-1 victory over Leicester City has made the Gunners 11/8 favourites to win the Premier League.

However, fans of the north Londoners shouldn’t get too excited as a familiar foe is on the horizon in the Champions League to spoil the party.

The last time Arsenal faced Barcelona was in the 2010/11 season and the English outfit managed to win when the game was played at the Emirates.

They only lost one of their next five games across all competitions ahead of the second leg, but from there it all went downhill.

Barca dominated in the Nou Camp, with Lionel Messi scoring twice in a 3-1 victory for the La Liga giants, and this had a knock on effect for the north Londoners’ league form.

Arsene Wenger’s men lost their following match, 2-0 away at Manchester United in the FA Cup, and only emerged victorious in two of their remaining ten Premier League fixtures.

That poor run saw them fall from second in the table to fourth and they ended the campaign 12 points behind champions Man Utd.

Arsenal had the poor luck of facing Barcelona a season earlier and it was another case of the Catalans causing trouble for the Gunners.

The two sides played out a draw in London, before Messi turned on the style and scored four times at the Nou Camp to help his side progress to the Champions League semi-final with a 4-1 win.

Wenger’s men were only four points off top before the first leg against Barca, but only won one and lost four of their final six league games after the second leg, ending the campaign 11 points adrift of table-topping Chelsea.

The Gunners face the likes of Man Utd, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City after their encounters with the La Liga leaders and suffering a similar blip would be disastrous to the three-time Premier League winners’ hopes of claiming the title for the first time since 2004.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.