Champions League Preview: AC Milan v Barcelona
Top spot in Group H is still very much up for grabs as the Rossoneri welcome the reigning European champions to San Siro on Wednesday
Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini
Nocerino, Van Bommel, Aquilani
Puyol, Pique, Mascherano, Abidal
Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas
Sanchez, Villa, Messi
AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri will be without the services of Antonio Cassano who is recovering from heart surgery while Philippe Mexes is still nursing a broken wrist.
Alexandre Pato came on as a substitute in the goalless draw against Fiorentina at the weekend and could be handed a starting role up front in Wednesday's encounter.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola faces a selection headache at right-back as Dani Alves is suspended and Adriano is injured. Carles Puyol could slide over to full-back and Javier Mascherano to the centre of defence to compensate for the Brazilian duo's absence.
Andres Iniesta will miss the crunch clash with a thigh strain, but Pedro recently returned from an ankle problem and could see some action off the bench.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- AC Milan have only won three out of their last 10 home games in the Champions League.
- Massimiliano Allegri's men have won six out of their last eight matches in all competitions.
- The Rossoneri have picked up two wins at San Siro against Barca in the Champions League (W2 D1 L2).
- Alexandre Pato scored the fifth fastest goal in the history of the competition (24 seconds) at Camp Nou in the 2-2 draw on September 13, 2011.
- Barcelona have scored more goals than any other club in this season's tournament so far (13).
- The holders have succumbed to only one defeat in their last eight Champions League encounters away from Camp Nou.
- The Blaugrana's overall record against Italian teams in Europe is W5 D6 L5.
- Pep Guardiola's side have outscored their opponents 9-0 in their last two away matches in Group H.
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Top 3 Predictions
AC Milan 2-1 FC Barcelona
- 17.13 %
AC Milan 2-0 FC Barcelona
- 12.9 %
AC Milan 1-3 FC Barcelona
- 11.56 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 6, 2013||FC Barcelona 3 - AC Milan 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 22, 2013||AC Milan 1 - FC Barcelona 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Mar 12, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - AC Milan 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Feb 20, 2013||AC Milan 2 - FC Barcelona 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 3, 2012||FC Barcelona 3 - AC Milan 1|
|Mar 8, 2014||Udinese 1 - AC Milan 0||ITA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Feb 23, 2014||Sampdoria 0 - AC Milan 2||ITA1|
|Feb 19, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Atletico Madrid 1||UCL|
|Feb 14, 2014||AC Milan 1 - Bologna 0||ITA1|
|17||Mark van Bommel||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|-||Andreu Fontàs Prat||Defender|
|12||Jonathan Dos Santos||Midfielder|
The mercurial striker would love nothing more than to score against his old team in Wednesday’s crunch clash. The big knock against the Swede is that he goes missing in big European games and ‘Ibra’ will look to prove his doubters wrong against the holders at San Siro
The diminutive dynamo is the joint top scorer in the Champions League with five goals to his name. He found the back of the net in the 4-0 win over Zaragoza at the weekend and figures to be in the thick of things against Milan on Wednesday as the Catalans look to clinch top spot in Group H.
Both teams are already assured of a place in the round of 16 but will battle hard nonetheless to advance as group winners. Their first match in September ended in a thrilling draw and more of the same can be expected at the Giuseppe Meazza on Wednesday.