AC Milan vs Barcelona 10/22/2013 Free UEFA Champions League Pick and Preview
AC Milan (1-1-0) Barcelona (2-0-0)
Tuesday 22nd October 2013 19:45(GMT)
The Line: Ac Milan 5/1 Draw 14/5 Barcelona 3/5 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky sports: Fox Soccer
Ac Milan have been pretty poor so far this season and sit in eight position in Serie A. On papaer though Ac Manager Allegri has assembled a squad of players capable of competing for the Scudetta with Kaka, Matri and a rejuvenated Robinho in the fold along with most of last season's squad. In the quarter finals of the Champions League last year Milan did what most people though was impossible when they beat Barcelona 2-0 in the San Siro. That was a Barcelona side with a less than 100% Lionel Messi, similar to how he is coming into this game. But Milan have their own injury concerns with star man Balotelli currently nursing a thigh injury and if he starts he will definitely be less than 100%. Last years result for Milan was based on hard work and harressing Barcelona when not in possession. Looking at the way Milan have started the season its hard to make the case for them putting in a performance like that again tonight, however if you think back to last year Milan were equally inept in the league but managed to pull out the big performances against the big teams. Can they do likewise tonight?
Barcelona by their own high standards were very average at the weekend, they created so many chances but were unable to take any and with no recognized striker in the line up they played Cesc Fabregas through the center. This doesnt work, it didnt work for Spain, it wont work for Barcelona. Neymar looks like a good addition to Barcelona but time will tell whether he can become a Messi/Ronaldo type of player, he looks close at times but then often looks like an expensive luxury as well. At the back Barcelona do seem to have improved under new manager Martino and they have not conceded in five of their last seven games, will they be able to keep Balotelli and co under wraps? I am not sure.
Having searched for value in the markets on this one I am left feeling that the bookmakers might just be underestimating the ability in this Ac Milan side. I'm not sold 100% on Milan as they really have been unimpressive so far this year but a quick read through their teamsheet will show the quality they possess and if Balotelli starts they have a genuine world class finisher. I'm going to take a shot at Milan +1 on the handicap at the generous 13/10 price. I think Milan will do enough to get something from this game as I expect the players to raise their game and the crowd to play a part in stiffling Barcelona's play. Follow me on twitter @antonpippo