Clash of opposing styles as Milan gear up for champs
AC Milan have hinted they could shun their Italian roots when Barcelona visit the San Siro in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg on Wednesday. How they stack upsports Updated: Mar 28, 2012 02:01 IST
AC Milan have hinted they could shun their Italian roots when Barcelona visit the San Siro in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg on Wednesday.
Speaking following Saturday's 2-1 win over Roma, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri hinted that he favoured a more positive approach against Barca in throwing some caution to the wind rather than adopting a more typical catenaccio (door-bolt) system.
The two sides met in the group stages earlier this season and although the scores were close, Barca totally dominated in the 2-2 draw in Spain while they also deserved their 3-2 victory in Italy.
With Robinho and Maxi Lopez training again following injuries, with the former likely to partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front, Milan's attacking resources at least appear handsome. Influential centre-back Thiago Silva has been ruled out of both legs with a hamstring pull.
It means Daniele Bonera, rather than veteran Alessandro Nesta, who is just back from injury, is likely to play alongside Frenchman Philippe Mexes in the heart of defence.
Also missing for Milan is former Barcelona holding midfielder Mark van Bommel, as well as forwards Pato and Antonio Cassano.
Barca have fewer problems, with only French full-back Eric Abidal and Spain striker David Villa missing from their first team regulars.
Despite Milan's injury troubles, Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes is wary of the Italians.
"They are very dangerous on dead balls and they're very good at counter-attacks," he said.
Barca are also in phenomenal form with the record-breaking Lionel Messi having just become the club's all-time top scorer.
Bayern's french test
Paris: Olympique Marseille are on their knees and will have two key players missing when they host formidable Bayern Munich in their quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday but hope springs eternal. While OM have lost seven of their last eight games in all competitions, Bayern have scored 22 goals in their last five games.
Marseille will be without goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and centre-back Souleymane Diawara through suspension. Deschamps may also be able to count on Loic Remy who could partner Mathieu Valbuena at the Stade Velodrome.
Bayern, also in the German Cup final, have been in devastating form recently as they rip defences to shreds down the wings. Coach Jupp Heynckes may again be without midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger who is out with an ankle injury.
First Published: Mar 27, 2012 10:36 IST