Barca have a point to prove against Milan

After draw at home, visitors Barcelona hope to put ghost to rest with win. Champions League: How they stack up

sports Updated: Nov 23, 2011 01:31 IST

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri says his players need to show patience and retain possession if they are to beat title holders Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Top spot in Group H is up for grabs to the winners although the Spanish visitors can afford a draw and remain in pole position to finish the group stages in first place.

Milan were largely dominated despite snatching a 2-2 draw in the Camp Nou in September and Allegri says they must stop Barcelona monopolising the ball this time around.

"They're difficult to play against because they're technical and manage to vary the tempo of the game," he said. "They're good at accelerating and then slowing down. We'll need a lot of balance and we cannot get impatient but instead we need to push up and stop them having so much possession.

Barcelona may be head and shoulders above Milan these days but Allegri wants his players to remember just who they are. With seven Champions League titles, Milan's haul has been surpassed only by Real Madrid and they have three more titles than Barcelona.

Onus on Van Persie
Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund meet in a Champions League Group F match in north London on Wednesday with both teams hoping the momentum of their recent excellent domestic form will sweep them towards the last 16 of the competition.

A spot in the knockout round for the 12th successive season is assured if Arsenal win and if the other group result goes their way they could qualify with a draw at home, where they have only lost one of their last 36 Champions League matches.

Arsenal have relied heavily on Robin van Persie this season and he scored both goals at Norwich, taking his tally to 31 in 29 league games this calendar year.

The Dutchman, who also scored Arsenal's goal in their 1-1 draw in Dortmund in September, did not start the drab 0-0 home draw with Marseille three weeks ago when Arsenal squandered the chance to make the last 16 with a victory.

Dortmund, who won their first group match at the fourth attempt when they beat Olympiakos 1-0 on Nov 1, will take great heart from their 1-0 win over Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday -- their sixth league win in their last seven matches.

Dortmund grabbed their so-called "week of truth" by the horns, winning 1-0 with a second-half goal from Mario Goetze to close to within two points of the top.

First Published: Nov 22, 2011 23:34 IST