Barcelona are not favourites against Milan, believes Roura

The ex-Blaugrana midfielder thinks neither side is favourite to win the encounter, as he approaches the match with much respect for the Italian giants
Barcelona assistant Jordi Roura feels his team and AC Milan will go into their last-16 first-leg Champions League tie with an equal chance of success.

Neither team were able to navigate through the group stages with a flawless record, as the Catalan giants recorded a 2-1 loss at Celtic and the Rossoneri came out second after suffering defeats to Zenit Saint Petersburg and Malaga.

And despite their dominant display in La Liga this term, which sees them in first place with a 12-point lead over Atletico Madrid, Roura is reluctant in accepting the favourite tag for his side.

"Are Barcelona favourites? You know the way I see it," the 45-year-old told reporters.

"Milan are a great team and it is not easy to play against them. The qualification will be decided in Barcelona. You cannot talk about favourites in a tie like this.

"In recent games we have been conceding goals, but fortunately we always scored a few more. We have tried to resolve certain situations in defence, as you can’t always fight back to win.

"Everyone wants to get through to the quarter-finals, but we know it won’t be easy. The Champions League is missed by Barcelona and the players are happier when they can face big clubs."

Roura then took the time to praise his opponents, who he believes are still one of the top-class sides in Europe.

"We studied the team, though it is different to last year. It is always wonderful to come here, as San Siro is a marvellous stadium. Milan remain one of the big European clubs and it is always frightening to face them."

Milan will face the Blaugrana on Wednesday, February 20 at the San Siro.