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Prediction: UEFA Champions League / Barcelona V AC Milan

Posted Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:45:15 GMT    Views: 2545    Font:A  A  A

UEFA Champions League -- Match Time:3/13/2013 03:45 Wednesday

Barcelona  V  AC Milan Head to Head | Statistics| Odds

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The Blaugrana were defeated 2-0 at San Siro two weeks ago and will need to pull off an historic comeback in the second leg to have any chance of progressing beyond the last 16. After back to back losses from El Clasico in Copa del Rey and La Liga to their arch rival Real Madrid, Barcelona need to look forward, set aside their frustrations and focus on this big match.

BARCELONA v AC MILAN: MATCH PREVIEW

The Spanish side suffered a surprise 2-0 loss in the first leg and have a mountain to climb to progress. Whilst Barca are huge favourites to win, they are decidedly second favourites in the qualification market. Since that match, Barcelona lost to Real Madrid twice in five days. So even beating the bottom of the table Deportivo La Coruña 2-0 on Saturday can’t have given them all of their confidence back.

AC Milan have lost just three times in Serie A away from home and none of those by scorelines that would see them eliminated here. They are a side in decent form, unbeaten in their last eight league matches in Serie A. And although Barcelona have won 11 of their 12 home games in La Liga, they have only won six of those by a margin that would be sufficient in this one.

Barcelona have overturned a two goal deficit on five previous occasions, whilst Milan hold the unfortunate record of having let slip a three goal lead in the past, when a second leg 4-0 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna saw then exit the competition in 2003-4.

Barca remain without head coach Tito Vilanova, who is in New York receiving treatment as he recovers from a cancer relapse. Jordi Roura has been in temporary charge in the absence of Vilanova, and he guided the Catalans to a 2-0 victory on Saturday night (Messi scored a goal in order to become the only player in the history to score in 17 consecutive La Liga games). Roura rested a lot of players on Saturday. Xavi, of course, is still striving for match fitness after a muscle tear. Piqué and Pedro were rested entirely, and Busquets, Iniesta, and Messi all played less than 30 minutes on Saturday.

Giampaolo Pazzini has been ruled out with a suspected ankle injury after scoring in his side's 2-0 win over Genoa. The news will come as a bitter blow to the Italian giants, with fellow forward Mario Balotelli ineligible to feature in the match, meaning Stephan El Shaarawy and M'Baye Niang are the only recognised first-team forwards available for selection. Also Mexes sustained an injury against Genoa and is now doubtful.

Barcelona are looking for their sixth successive quarter final appearance and are unbeaten in 19 UEFA Champions League home matches, winning fifteen of them. Their overall record against Italian visitors is W11 D4 L2.

BARCELONA v AC MILAN: PROBABLE LINEUPS

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Dani Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Sanchez, Messi, Pedro
AC Milan (4-4-1-1): Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Bonera; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Muntari, Constant; Boateng; El Shaarawy

BARCELONA v AC MILAN:TEAM FORM

Barcelona
Mar 9, 2013    FC Barcelona 2 - Deportivo 0    LIGA
Mar 2, 2013    Real Madrid CF 2 - FC Barcelona 1    LIGA
Feb 26, 2013    FC Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid CF 3    ESPC
Feb 23, 2013    FC Barcelona 2 - Sevilla 1    LIGA
Feb 20, 2013    AC Milan 2 - FC Barcelona 0    UCL
AC Milan
Mar 8, 2013    Genoa 0 - AC Milan 2    ITA1
Mar 2, 2013    AC Milan 3 - Lazio 0    ITA1
Feb 24, 2013    FC Internazionale 1 - AC Milan 1    ITA1
Feb 20, 2013    AC Milan 2 - FC Barcelona 0    UCL
Feb 15, 2013    AC Milan 2 - Parma 1    ITA1

Prediction: Barcelona to qualify & Messi to score 2 or more goals

 

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