HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014


Balotelli on bench, Messi makes Barcelona line-up
Milan, October 23, 2013
First Published: 00:50 IST(23/10/2013)
Last Updated: 00:54 IST(23/10/2013)

Striker Mario Balotelli will start on the bench for AC Milan while Lionel Messi has been named in Barcelona's starting line-up for the sides' Champions League Group H clash on Tuesday.

Balotelli had been a selection doubt due to a thigh problem and, despite passing a late fitness test on Monday, coach Massimiliano Allegri opted to leave the 23-year-old out of his starting line-up.

Messi, who has been suffering from a thigh strain, was doubtful to start after making only a late appearance for the Spanish giants in a scoreless draw against Osasuna at the weekend.

Allegri will deploy a 4-3-3 formation with Brazilian Robinho in attack flanked by Kaka and Valter Birsa, the Slovenian who scored Milan's winner in a 1-0 victory over Udinese on Saturday.

Barca coach Gerardo Martino will use a similar tactical formation with Brazilian Neymar and Chilean Alexis Sanchez playing either side of Argentina star Messi.

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