Barcelona v AC Milan: Match preview
Barcelona v AC Milan: Match preview
So many questions asked were asked of Barcelona in such a little space of time.
Yet they were not able to produce any answers to satisfy their fans. Losing three games in four was surprising. Two El Clasicos and a round of 16 match against Ac Milan. We all know that overnight the players such as Xavi, Iniesta and Messi don’t forget how to play football over night.
However, they looked lost and hopeless against their fierce rivals. Is Barcelona hegemony over? Is their cycle over and will they will they be the same unorganised team as with Rijkaard? Probably not, there is too much class and pride in each of the players not counting the hunger for trophies that the likes of Thiago and Tello posses.
Now the question stands: Will Barcelona be able to save their season? Of course winning La Liga is a successful season but the bar has been raised for the Catalans. They started the season brilliantly and it was thought that it will be the gateway to the treble, but now they are half way out of UCL and all they will have left for them is the already won La Liga.
A boring end to an exciting season. Now it is all up to them to save their season and their pride by overcoming a two goal deficit at the Camp Nou on March 12.
Milan on the other hand is a different story to the Blaugarnas. They had a period transition and were also forced to sell their prize assets to richer clubs (the departure of Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva).
By no means are AC Milan a small club. Their history speaks for themselves but they arrived into this clash as heavy underdogs. After a horrible first half of the season AC Milan was able to rediscover their form despite the young age and lack of experience in the players.
They played the home game without their biggest signing Balotteli but that didn’t seem to affect their game. Kevin Prince Boateng who has lost his form since the departure of Ibra, has played an amazing game against Barcelona. Montolivo so ineffective the first half of the season found his Euro 2012 form against Barcelona.
Muntari the long forgotten warrior scored the second goal against Barcelona. Milan will most likely come into the game defending their 2 goal lead and using the space left by Barcelona to counter them.
Key battle. Busquets vs Montolivo
Montolivo will be the start of Milan’s attacks whenever Barcelona will lose possession. Barcelona will most likely apply heavy pressure to get the ball as quickly as possible and Milan players will search for Montolivo to exploit the space opened from the press. Long diagonal balls are what always get Barcelona (3-1 loss to Madrid).
Xavi and Iniesto playing further up the field will mean that Busquets will play the central role and will have to neutralize Montolivo, something that Busquets hasn’t been doing well lately. Barcelona will to Busquets to keep them safe from more unwanted goals.
Despite Barcelona’s dip in form, they will still go in as heavy favourites. Keeping in mind their defensive record, Barcelona cannot allow AC Milan to score unless they are 3 goals above Milan. Something tells me that Barcelona will go out hard at Milan and three little guys Xavi, Iniesta and Messi will be out for revenge.
It's very likely that Barcelona will win the game but with their defensive statistics it is hard to see them passing through due to away goals.
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