Champions League Betting Preview - Back AC Milan to take a first leg lead against Arsenal

AC Milan may have a poor record at San Siro against English opposition in Europe but William Duncan can see Massimiliano Allegri's side beating the Gunners on Wednesday
Serie A leaders AC Milan will be hoping that it is a case of 'third time lucky' against English opposition when they welcome Arsenal to San Siro on Wednesday for this UEFA Champions League last-16 match.

Milan’s European dream was ended by Tottenham Hotspur last year while they were knocked out of the competition by Manchester United in 2010, but Milan are Paddy Power’s even-money favourites to win this first leg.

Arsenal are priced up at 14/5 (3.80) to seize the initiative while the same firm offer 12/5 (3.40) on the match ending all square.

Milan’s attack will be led by former Inter and Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Swede is certainly enjoying life back at San Siro, having netted 15 league goals in 19 appearances for Milan this term, and he is 9/2 (5.50) with Paddy Power to score first here.

However, Ibrahimovic is not the sole threat that Arsenal will face and midfielder Antonio Nocerino, a 10/1 (11.00) shot with Paddy Power to score first, has notched seven goals in Serie A this term so he will need to be carefully monitored by the Gunners' defence.

For Arsenal, Thierry Henry has already written some scripts worthy of Hollywood since returning to the club in January and is 9/1 (10.00) with Paddy Power to score first in what is likely to be his final Arsenal appearance.

Meanwhile, Paddy Power rate Robin Van Persie, who has an impressive haul of 22 league goals to his name this season, as a 6/1 (7.00) chance to score the opening goal.

A goal glut seems unlikely and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is likely to try to keep things tight in the first leg, especially given Arsenal’s impressive home form this term and Paddy Power’s offer of 4/1 (5.00) for the contest to be level at half time with Milan leading at full time is tempting.

However, given Milan’s impressive form, the even-money quote on a home win looks to represent sufficient value while a small stakes wager on the dangerous Nocerino at 10/1 (11.00) is also recommended.

Paddy Power are also offering one of their "Money Back Specials" on this game. If Robin van Persie scores the last goal then Paddy Power will refund all incorrect first and last goalscorer singles as well as losing correct score and scorecast bets.

This offer paid dividends last week when Luis Suarez scored last in the Manchester United v Liverpool game earning many punters a refund on their losing selections.

Bet of the day: AC Milan to win at Evens (2.00) with Paddy Power

Value Bet: Nocerino to score first at 10/1 (11.00) with Paddy Power

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter here.