ARSENAL will be hoping it doesn't get Messi tonight.

The Gunners renew rivalries with the world's best player still reeling from the night he hit four past them to end their Champions League dream a year ago.

That mesmeric display from Lionel Messi guided Barcelona to a 4-1 win in the Nou Camp after a 2-2 draw at the Emirates.

Twelve months Arsenal are a much improved team – but so are Barcelona. So there could be a titanic clash in London tonight.

Messi is 11-2 with bet365 to score four or more over both legs during the last-16 clash.

He is 10-3 not to score, 9-4 for one, 11-4 for two and 5-1 for three. In a first-leg match bet Robin van Persie is 9-2 to score more than Messi (6-5) with the tie 11-10.

The sides have met four times with 17 goals netted – and on each occasion both teams have scored.
It could be a goalfest again and both teams to score pays 10-11 at Skybet. More than 2.5 goals is 8-11 at Coral and more than 3.5 is 13-8 with the same firm.

Arsenal are 13-2 with Ladbrokes to repeat last year’s heroics and come from behind and draw with the Spaniards.

Messi will be the man Gunners fear. He has banged in 24 goals in 23 league outings this season and is 4-1 at Ladbrokes to score first.

Fifteen-goal David Villa is and twelve-goal Pedro are both 6-1 at Ladbrokes.
Arsenal will hope for a big performance from van Persie and he is 8-1 with Stan James.

The Gunners are 3-1 with Ladbrokes and William Hill to win the home leg with the draw 12-5 at Hills.

Arsene Wenger will take heart from the fact Barca drew two of their group games away and were held 1-1 in La Liga by Sporting Gijon at the weekend.

That result ended a record run of 16 wins in a row and a scoring draw looks the shout at the Emirates as long Arsenal defend well.

Barca are a biggest 1-1 with Betfred to take the first leg and I expect them to qualify at 1-4 with Paddy Power and William Hill. The Gunners are 7-2 with bet365.

Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals (13-8, Coral)


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