BARCELONA - ARSENAL

Luis Enrique: "It's unlikely I'll be Barça coach in 20 years"

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique believes it would be impossible to mirror Arsene Wenger's 20 years in charge at Arsenal given the demands at the Camp Nou.

Luis Enrique: "It's unlikely I'll be Barça coach in 20 years"
FERNANDO ZUERAS DIARIO AS

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique believes it would be impossible to mirror Arsene Wenger's 20 years in charge at Arsenal given the demands at the Camp Nou.
Enrique delivered the treble of league, Cup and Champions League in his first season with Barca and is well on course to repeat that feat this season as the Catalans welcome Arsenal on Wednesday on the back of a 37-game unbeaten run.

Barca are heavy favourites to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for a ninth consecutive season as they hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over the Gunners.

Wenger has come under increasing pressure as a run of one win in seven games has severely dented Arsenal's hopes of landing a first Premier League title in 12 years, whilst their bid to win a third consecutive FA Cup was ended by a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Watford on Sunday.

However, Enrique insisted that Wenger's 20-year stay demonstrates he is one of the top coaches in the world.

"I don't think anyone has ever been here (as coach) 20 years, or, if they have, it is impossible in the modern era," Enrique said on Tuesday. "It means the level of Arsene Wenger as a manager cannot be doubted. Only the best can be in the one place for so long due to their level and also because they have the desire to continue. In my case, I think it is impossible."

By contrast to Barca's Champions League form in the past decade, Arsenal haven't made it to the last eight since being eliminated by a Lionel Messi four-goal masterclass in 2010.

Yet, Wenger's men have made a habit of forlorn second-leg comebacks in the last-16 in recent seasons against the likes of AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Monaco.

And Enrique insists his side won't let complacency affect their concentration on Wednesday.

"It is a very good result, but it is not going to change our preparation," he added. "We are aware of the need to play a great game to get to the next round. "Without doubt Arsenal as a club and the individuals within the team are capable of coming back."It is not a game to relax. It is a result that if you concede first then certain doubts can arise."

Arsenal will be faced with the terrifying prospect of trying to stop Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, who have combined for 103 goals already this season.

However, Barca will be weakened in defence as Gerard Pique is suspended.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will also return in goal as the German is Enrique's preferred option between the sticks for Champions League and Copa del Rey duties.

However, the German refused to commit his future to Barca after becoming frustrated at making just four La Liga appearances in his first two seasons at the club.

"Many people ask me about my future, but the only thing I am thinking about is tomorrow and offering what I can from now until the end of the season," Ter Stegen said.