Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has praised Arsenal duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil ahead of the meeting between the two clubs.

The La Liga giants travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Tuesday evening in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, with the Spanish side clear favourites to advance into the next round of the competition they won so comfortably last season.

Speaking to the Independent, ex-Liverpool defender, who was once the teammate of Alexis during his spell at Barcelona, claimed that the 27-year-old Chilean winger reminds him of big money signing Luis Suarez.

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Yes. Totally, there is a touch of Luis Suarez.

He is a fighter. He never gives up a single ball for lost.

He is always going to give everything. And that is fundamental for any team.

He delivered in the time he was here. He was very involved. Maybe he just needed the challenge of having a greater part to play in another team… now he has a huge role to play for Arsenal. He is crucial to what they do. He is someone whose aggression and attitude is infectious.

The Argentine international then moved on to World Cup winner Ozil, who leads the way in Europe’s top five leagues this season with 17 assists.

Mascherano described the attacking midfielder as ‘key’.

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Ozil is key. Everything revolves around him.

They have a very good midfield and they are always competitive even when they were losing important players and had to rebuild.

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Arsenal face Barca on Tuesday evening, with the likes of Neymar, Suarez, Lionel Messi and co. looking to defend their crown as European champions.

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