AC Milan find themselves now in a comfortable situation of a four-point lead at the top of the table after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Roma. They progressed to the last 8 teams, after beating Arsenal 4-3 on aggregate, despite losing 3-0 at the Emirates. Thiago Silva will not be available for the crucial European clashes after limping out of the win over Roma on Saturday evening. Apart from Cassano’s heart problems, Abate and Pato’s weak muscles they have only recently recovered Boateng, Aquilani, Seedorf, Nesta and Gattuso. All could be potential starters but they have had quite lengthy spells on the sidelines. Robinho should also be available for the game after about three weeks out. Mark van Bommel is suspended for the 1st leg after picking up his 3rd yellow card during the 2nd leg at Arsenal.
Barça meanwhile, was in ominous form in the last 16 as they demolished Bayer Leverkusen 10-2 on aggregate. After winning 3-1 in Germany, the reigning champions showed their classes by powering to a 7-1 win at the Nou Camp, thanks to five-goals from Lionel Messi. They have won 7 successive league games to cut Madrid’s lead at the top to just six points. Guardiola has Abidal and Adriano only injured. In terms of physical condition the Spanish side is surely two steps ahead of their hosts. Dani Alves missed the game at Mallorca due to a suspension and should return to the starting line-up for Wednesday’s game.
These teams met in the group stage earlier season when Barcelona prevailed at the San Siro while the game at the Nou Camp ended in a draw. The 2-2 in Barcelona was unfair for the home team. The Blaugrana had deserved a clear victory but Milan took advantage of Barça’s high defence and generally weak backline. Barca have won their last six European away games and they should find a way to goal at the San Siro, especially with Milan weakened due to the absence of Silva. Milan had to be in their best shape and with their players in top form to worry Barcelona in their last meeting. The Rossoneri anyway lost that match. Furthermore, Milan have conceded 11 goals, more than any other team still involved. With many players just recovered from long term injuries we expect Barcelona’s class to prevail.
So which team will be in the better mood tomorrow evening? I encourage you to join me on the Twitter live session for this match (@AntonEbdon account) where we will try to achieve another profitable evening. Details will be provided by Betadvisor in a timely matter. Talk to you soon lads!