Mascherano warns Arsenal Messi is gunning for them



Javier Mascherano has appeared out of the woodwork to warn Arsenal that Lionel Messi is ready to end their Champions League involvement.

The Argentinean midfielder moved from English club Liverpool to warm the bench at the Nou Camp, and has rarely featured for the World Club champions, but he was on hand to give his thoughts on the upcoming last 16 clash.

Messi scored four times in the same fixture last season, and Mascherano backed his team mate to do more damage this time round.

“Nothing surprises me about Leo,” said Mascherano.

“He can repeat what he did last year or he could do even better. Nobody can put a limit on the levels he can reach.”

Mascherano also surprisingly believes Arsenal will change their entire approach and defend their lead, despite having never played that way in over 10 years under Arsene Wenger.

“They are not stupid. They have a [2-1] advantage and they will try to protect that lead,” added Mascherano.

“They will come to defend. The difference [from Zaragoza] is that, as we know, when they do have the ball they also like to play and they have the players to do that.

“Arsenal know how to defend as well as attack. We can’t make the mistake of thinking that, just because they know how to play attacking football, they don’t know how to defend.

“In football when a team plays well we all jump to that conclusion. But if Arsenal have to defend, then they will defend.

“The problem is that when they have the ball they will try to play football – because of the players and the coach they have.”

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