Last night the Gunners froze in the chill of the Olympic Stadium, and now it is time to see how Mourinho's Chelsea handle the heat of the Camp Nou. Londonist has been looking forward to this one for aaaaages. We just hope it lives up to the hype.
This is a solid gold tie for so many reasons. These are arguably the two best teams in Europe. Both sides have seen their relentless progress slowed down by important injuries, but whoever wins through is going to take some stopping. Then there is the contrast between the two clubs themselves : the democracy against the dictatorship , the laid-back Rijkaard against the controlling Mourinho, the rigid defensive control of Chelsea against the improvisational attack of Barca, Terry against Ronaldinho, Xavi against Lampard....the list goes on. Finally, the little bit of history that adds spice to the recipe : Mourinho returning to the first club to employ him as a coach and Deco playing against his former manager and mentor.
Jose has been enjoying the build-up to this game and has comfortably added to his reputation as European football's best wind-up merchant. But as we should all know by now, he only does it to take the pressure off his players, and it does seem to work. The great man is after a clean sheet tonight, and we think he's going to get it.
The match is live on Sky Sports tonight, kick-off is 7.45pm. If you fancy a flutter, try here .