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Arsenal star Santi Carzola is hoping to return in time to face Barcelona at the Camp Nou, according to reports.
The midfielder suffered a knee injury in the 1-1 draw against Norwich in late November and subsequently underwent surgery in early December which has kept in on the sidelines ever since.
According to Ibtimes, the Spanish playmaker is hopeful he will return in time for the second leg against Barcelona next month. The midfielder had hoped his side would get positive result in the first leg to give them a chance of making it to the next round.
“I am eager to return. It is a pain to be on the sidelines and not have the chance to help your team, especially when there is a game like the one against Barcelona that everyone wants to play in. Hopefully I can shorten [the recovery process],” he said to Onda Cero.
“[Playing in the second leg against Barcelona] is the goal that I have. The knee is fine, I am working better every day. The aim is to set to return ([against Barcelona] but I’m not obsessed myself. I have to go day by day.”
The midfielder who knows how difficult it is to play against Barcelona at the Camp Nou had hoped his side would get a positive result in the first leg to help boost their confidence for the second leg.
“I want to go to Barcelona with the possibility of winning the tie. I do not want what happened in recent years, when Bayern Munich and Monaco effectively knocked us out in the first leg. I want to go to the Camp Nou with intact chances to go through,” he added.
“A team like Arsenal always wants to go further in the Champions League. In recent years we have been knocked out too early. It is obvious that we face the best team left in.
“They are the clear favourites to go through because Barcelona are the favourites whoever they face. The team is optimistic but we have to be realistic and know that we will face a great team.”
The Gunners suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg which will definitely make their task at the Camp Nou much more difficult.