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Barcelona face Arsenal in Champions League

Published:Saturday | March 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM

NYON, Switzerland (AP):Arsenal will seek to avenge their 2006 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona when the teams meet again in the quarter-finals of the competition.

The north London team was drawn to face the heavily favoured defending champions from Spain yesterday, with the winner potentially facing Inter Milan.

The draw also set up a quarter-final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich, which is a repeat of the 1999 final that United won with two late goals.

The other quarter-final features an all-French matchup between Lyon and Bordeaux.

UEFA also made the semi-final draw, with the winner of Arsenal-Barcelona to face either Inter Milan or CSKA Moscow.

The quarter-final games will be played March 30-31, with the return legs on April 6-7.

The semi-finals are April 20-21 and 27-28.

Barcelona beat Stuttgart 4-0 on Wednesday on the back of two goals by the brilliant Lionel Messi. Arsenal, with Russian star Andrei Arshavin, have never won European club football's most prestigious competition, but outplayed FC Porto 5-0 last week.

Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2006 final at the Stade de France. Thierry Henry played for the Gunners in that game, but are now with Barcelona. The quarter-final matchup will feature the Frenchman's return to the north London club where he spent eight seasons, scoring a club-record 174 league goals.

"You respect what they have done but competition is what you do tomorrow," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said of Barcelona. But he admitted his side had a tough route to the title with the possibility of facing Barcelona, Inter Milan and Manchester United in consecutive matches.

strong belief

"We can only take one step at a time. The route is not easy, that I concede. But the best way to be successful in the quarter-final is to get into this competition in good condition and with a strong belief. The strong belief happens if we do well in the (Premier League) championship."

After the draw, British bookmakers William Hill made Barcelona the 2-1 favourite to become the first team since AC Milan in 1990 to win the title twice in a row. No team has won consecutive titles since it was renamed and reformatted as the Champions League in 1993. Hills made Man United the 3-1 second favourite, followed by Inter Milan at 10-3 and Arsenal at 9-1.