Guardiola: Barca ready to break 'away jinx'

LONDON - Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola believes his free-scoring side are ready to improve on their poor recent Champions League last 16 away form when the Spanish champions visit Arsenal on Wednesday.

"There were matches we lost and drew so it is a good moment to break this jinx," Guardiola told reporters at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday ahead of the last-16 first-leg match.

"But as you must know, we are playing in Europe and in Europe teams are very good. The only reality that matters is that in the last two years we played a final and semi-final and this is not a bad percentage," he added.

Barcelona were sluggish in a 1-1 draw with VfB Stuttgart last season and their trip to Olympique Lyon in 2009 ended in the same result.

Guardiola said he would not be taking Arsenal lightly despite his team's 6-3 aggregate win over the Londoners in last season's quarter-finals.

"I have a lot of respect for Arsenal, so I have an idea of Arsenal seeing both games we played last season - but just an idea because many players have changed and the influence in the game of (Robin) Van Persie is a lot," he said.

Guardiola played down a potential move for Arsenal's influential Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who has often been linked with a return to his former club.

"Cesc is a player of Arsenal... so, let him play here and let Wenger play with his player," he said. "If one day Arsenal decide Cesc can go out we will only think (then) if he is interesting or not."