Wenger is hopeful that this Arsenal player can keep Messi quiet tonight

Petr Cech Arsenal

Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech can preserve his perfect record against Lionel Messi in Tuesday's Champions League clash with Barcelona.

The Emirates plays host as the reigning European champions visit North London for the first leg of their last-16 encounter tonight.

Barcelona go into the contest as big favourites to earn a first-leg lead, with their red-hot attacking trident of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez boasting 91 goals between them this season.

Nevertheless, the Argentine has never scored against the ex-Chelsea stopper, despite facing him on seven occasions, and the Gunners boss clearly hopes that history can repeat itself.

"I hope that that will give Petr a lot of confidence, and that he’ll keep him quiet,” Wenger told Arsenal's official website.

"I hope that ......history plays for us and against him (Messi)."

Arsenal fans would love a repeat of 2011, when their side beat Barcelona 2-1 to earn a first-leg advantage at the same stage of the competition.

However, Barcelona - then coached by Pep Guardiola - overturned that deficit at Camp Nou with a 3-1 win en route to lifting the title that year, with Messi scoring twice in the return leg. Manuel Almunia was between the sticks for Arsenal on that occasion.

Will it be eighth-time lucky for Arsenal's 28-year-old goalkeeper tonight ?

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