AC Milan will host Barcelona at the San Siro in Milano on March 28 for the first leg of their European Champions League quarterfinal tie. The Italian squad will need to keep their eye on Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who has an incredible 12 goals in the competition so far. Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the way for AC Milan with five tournament tallies.
The two teams are familiar with each other since they met twice already this season in the group stage of the tournament. Milan managed to draw 2-2 in Barcelona, but were beaten 3-2 at home at the San Siro and this helped them top Group H with 16 points followed by Milan with nine. In fact, the last time Milan managed to beat the Spanish giants was back in 2004.
While Italian Serie A leaders Milan will definitely have to focus their attention on Messi, the rest of the Spanish squad isn’t too shabby either. However, they are having a bit of an off season since they trail Real Madrid by six points for top spot in the Spanish Primera League.
Milan beat Roma 2-1 on Saturday for their fourth-consecutive victory and leads Juventus by four points in the Italian league. However, it looks like they’ll have to play this key game without the services of defenders Ignazio Abate and Thiago Silva as they’re both injured. They’ll also be missing midfielder Mark van Bommel as he’s out with a suspension.
Barcelona has narrowed the gap in the Spanish league to six points after being behind Madrid by as many as 10 just a couple of weeks ago. They’ve won seven consecutive league games and it looks like they’ll be strengthened for this game as defender Dani Alves will be back after missing his team’s win over Mallorca due to suspension. It’s also believed that Brazilian winger Robinho and defender Alessandro Nesta will be back in the squad.
AC Milan has never been beaten at home in a European Cup quarter-final matchup. They’ve won 10 times and drawn the other four. They need to defend better though since they’ve allowed 11 goals in the competition so far, the most of the remaining eight teams.
Betting Predictions for Milan vs Barcelona
The key to this game for Milan is to bury their chances when they get them and to get good goalkeeping. Barcelona usually creates numerous chances each game and expect the Italian defenders and keepers to have a busy night in front of them. Still, this should be a close game and a draw here in the first leg at the San Siro definitely isn’t out of the question.
Bet365.com has the current odds of an AC Milan triumph at 4/1 with a Barcelona victory at 8/11and a draw at 5/2. Click the banner on the right to get some free bets!