Lionel Messi is the leading scorer in the competition. Image courtesy of uefa.com
Milan and Barcelona will be meeting in the Champions League for the third time this season when they clash at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Thursday morning (AEST). The Spanish giants won 3-2 when the teams met at this ground in November and have since taken their unbeaten run in this competition to seven matches. Three time world player of the year Lionel Messi has been the driving force behind the holders success this campaign, with twelve goals in just seven matches. David Villa, Eric Abidal and Ibrahim Afellay are all long term absentees and Adriano is a doubt.
The hosts are also missing several important players, with Thiago Silva and Pato missing through injury, while Mark van Bommel is suspended. Despite having to face the best club side in the world, Milan has some cause for optimism. Massimiliano Allegri’s team are atop the Serie A ladder and recorded a strong 2-1 win over Roma on the weekend. They also have an enviable record of having never lost a home quarterfinal tie in the European Cup.
Marseille host Bayern Munich in the final Champions League quarterfinals first leg match.
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