Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

David Schiavone On September - 13 - 2011

Champions League Preview - Barcelona vs Milan

Two of European football’s giants face off tonight at the Camp Nou as Milan battle Barcelona in Group H of the Champions League.

The Spanish side will be hoping to put one of the competitions most successful sides to the sword as the Rossoneri are only second in European Cup wins with seven, only two behind Los Cules’ rivals Real Madrid.

Barcelona let a two goal lead slip at the weekend against Real Sociedad who managed to draw 2-2 with the Spanish champions, despite Xavi and co dominating the majority of the game.

Meanwhile Milan also played out a 2-2 draw in their match with Lazio at the San Siro, but it was they who had to comeback from two goals down.

Team News

Barcelona (4-1-2-3): Valdes; Alves, Puyol, Abidal, Adriano; Busquets; Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa

Eric Abidal is expected to get the nod in central defence ahead of midfielder Javier Mascherano, replacing Fontas who played in La Liga at the weekend. One boost will also be the return of club captain Carles Puyol who has recovered from a knee injury, while Gerard Pique is still absent with a calf tear sustained in pre-season.

Another absentee will be Alexis Sanchez who tore his hamstring at the weekend and faces two months on the sidelines. As a result the tried and tested combination of David Villa, Leo Messi and Pedro are likely to start in attack.

AC Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Silva, Antonini; Nocerino, van Bommel, Aquilani; Boateng; Cassano, Pato

The Rossoneri are expected to make a few changes for the match in Spain, with Mark van Bommel set to start against his former club as Gennaro Gattuso continues to serve a four match ban.

However, the big news for Milan is that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out of the match with a groin strain, thus Pato is set to get the nod to partner Antonio Cassano.

One thing that could go in favour of Barcelona is the fact that Milan only began their season at the weekend, thus match fitness could be an issue for the Italian side, though Max Allegri’s men have won the opening group match in their last ten Champions League campaigns.

Many are tipping Milan to be on the end of a hiding this evening with Barcelona seemingly on another footballing planet. This coupled with Italian football’s inability to deal with a strong pressing approach could also mean the Rossoneri may struggle to cope.

It was also apparent in the Serie A match with Lazio that Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva are a little rusty, conceding two goals and giving away numerous chances to the Biancocelesti, so those two will need to be on top of their game of Messi and co. are to be stopped.

Probably the most famous encounter between the two sides was the 1994 Champions League final in Athens, where Johan Cryuff’s dream team were strong favourites to win their second European Cup, but Fabio Capello’s men destroyed the Catalans 4-0 in one of the best finals in the competition.

The two clubs have met each other 11 times in European competition with four wins and three draws each, and at the Camp Nou, Barcelona’s record is two wins, two draws and one loss.

  • arlinda

    barcelona is the best football in the world i love you

  • arlinda

    barcel

    ona is the best in the world i love you david villa so muchhhhhhh

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