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AC Milan v Barcelona – Champions League Quarter Final Preview

Two European giants meet up in this glamorous Champions League quarter-final. Check out who we’re backing with our soccer picks.

This Wednesday we see the first leg of what should be a cracking last eight affair.
Barcelona takes on Milan at the San Siro and are the favorites in the soccer odds at the moment. They can be found anywhere from +370 to +453, which seems like great value for a team as talented as the Rossoneri.

The Catalan powerhouses are at -145 at in places and -148 at others, which again could be interpreted as good value on Messi & company. This is a team that not only doesn’t lose, they have a tendency to win big.

Visitors favored in first leg

Barcelona has won nine straight matches across all competitions and currently sit six points behind Real Madrid for the top spot in La Liga. There’s still plenty of time for Pep Guardiola’s squad to mount a serious challenge for the league title.
In Europe, Barcelona have been fabulous. They breezed through the group stages and then smashed Bayer Leverkusen 10-2 on aggregate in the round of 16.

The only real trouble posed to Barca in this competition has come from their quarter-final opponents AC Milan, who were also in their group. The Italians drew with Barcelona 2-2 at Camp Nou and then lost 3-2 at home during that stage of the competition.
Milan currently resides in first place in Serie A, four points clear of Juventus. In the Champions League the Rossoneri survived a spirited comeback from Arsenal to win 4-3 on aggregate in the round of 16.

The Italians were, however, dealt a serious blow recently with the news that Brazilian defender Thiago Silva will miss a month due to a thigh injury.

Regardless, Milan has plenty of firepower, namely in the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede has 29 club goals in all competitions this season and just bagged a brace in his team’s latest win over Roma.

Can Ibrahimovic pick up the slack?

Ibrahimovic is the golden man and will be counted on in a big way considering Milan is without a host of their most influential players. Pato, Silva and Robinho among others are all banged up, while Mark Van Bommel is suspended for the first leg.
How does that affect my pick?

Call me crazy, but I think Barcelona may be a bit overvalued for this match. Even with health problems mounting, I don’t think Milan should be such big underdogs at the San Siro, especially since they’ve proven they can hang with Barca already this campaign.

However, I’m not going to go too crazy. A draw seems like a plausible result and wouldn’t be too detrimental to either side’s chances of moving on to the semi-finals. Milan got a point out of the Spaniards back in September and would be eager to prove they can do it again.

But, with Milan’s growing injury list plaguing the team and Barcelona finding their form again, I have to back a narrow victory for the visitors here. Messi is simply unstoppable right now and is sure to influence proceedings again on Wednesday.
Milan is going to need a perfect defensive performance to keep Barcelona at bay for the full 90 minutes and I just don’t think it’ll be possible in the end.

My Pick: Milan 1 Barcelona 2

Thanks to Steven Suarez (



  1. Jeet

    March 28, 2012 at 5:24 am

    None of my business really since I rarely post here, but I did think this place was a Manchester United blog?

    • Opti

      March 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      @Jeet: blog-for-profit 😀 $$$¢¢¢

  2. Owen

    March 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

    What is this..? 😈

  3. Ian

    March 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Seems a popular topic does Barcelon*, thought maybe this would go down well with a few of the regulars! 😆 😈

    • Moscow is my heaven

      March 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      @Ian: B*** will probably win tonight. I don’t particularly want to watch the game but I will. I urge anyone who feels warm and fuzzy about their football to watch this.

  4. Craig Mc

    March 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Off topic, but Vierra is definitely a BITTER now isn’t he? The ref’s give United home advantage. That must be why Newcastle got a penalty which never was at OT, and why in the Fulham game we should have had a penalty given for definite handball in the area by Fulham, before they had their penalty shout. So evened it out all round. He says our players intimidate the referee’s, and yet I didn’t see any of our lads surrounding the ref with either of the penalty shouts. Vierra should focus on City and players like Ballotelli always going down to get set pieces awarded, and other of their players before being obsessed with Man Utd. 😀

    • Nuevo

      March 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

      @Craig Mc: I guess mancini is too scared to start off mindgames directly with SAF and hence Viera’s the chosen one. He knows pretty well what happenend with Keegan and Benitez. FACT!!! :mrgreen:

  5. Craig Mc

    March 29, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I hope we beat Blackburn next Monday as we owe them after they beat us at OT. Hope Sir Fergie puts out our best eleven for that one. I still can’t understand why we have had to play 2 monday games on the trot. Can any of you statisticians tell me if this has happened to any other teams, because I can’t recall it. Thanks! 😀

  6. Stephen

    March 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Fucking Hell this site is now really turning into a B**ca blog….. 😈
    United > Any other fucking club

    • Ian

      March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Tell me about it…..there’s a good reason why this particular article went up and in the format it went up in. Thankfully it’s got the response it deserves and people might begin to realise how ridiculous it is to wax lyrical about another club, regardless of who are where it is, and that includes any club, anywhere. A few comparisons or mentions here and there fine, but lately this place has been like a B**** wank-fest and personally I don’t think I’d be doing the right thing if I stood by and let that happen.

      Hope you agree and understand why this went up.

      • Stephen

        March 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

        @Ian: Truthfully there is more of a wank-fest about Real, Ronaldo and Mourinho on this site. People seem to see B@*ca as some sort of rivals. Personally I fucking hate both sides and especially Mourinho.

        • Ian

          March 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

          I can’t disagree with that, but people never suggest we should be more like Real, it’s always B**** this and B**** that as if that’s the only way we can get any better.

          Even when an article goes up about player of the month or the club etc etc the discussion from some is not about United it’s about other clubs etc, I’m working on getting more articles up but unfortunately I can’t make writers write, I have to rely on receiving what I’m promised…..but as usual mate, I’m working on it

    • Ian

      March 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      and Robbie, your last two comments before slagging off the standard of article on RR ironically reads like this:

      1. I’d have argued that la liga defences were bad before we got outplayed by Bilbao. Just because there’s not as many “hardmen” like there is in england doesn’t mean their defenses are shit, La liga is just a little more technical and tactical. @RedDevilEddy I also bought into the myth that Messi needs xavi and iniesta, but in truth these days its all him, he was involved in all of barcas 5 goals this weekend.Xavi and Iniesta don’t start every game that he does. Its he that’s the difference in the games between Real and barca.

      2. Messi rarely even needs help these days…he does everything himself, I’ve never seen a player be so productive in terms of his assists and goals, on footballing ability he’s better than everyone else

      Are you sure this article wasn’t of some interest to you? You certainly do your fair share of B****-wanking yourself.

  7. Robbie

    March 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    @Stephen, its not in bout the team from catalonia, its that the articles do not arouse any sort of interest or debate, a few try but really there betting previews and roundups, stuff that you read but that’s it.

    • Stephen

      March 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      @Robbie: Bit harahsh mate, there are some really good articles on this site mate.

    • Ian

      March 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Don’t talk shit mate, recently I admit there’s more betting links inserted into some posts but purely because RR is on the up and attracting the attention of marketing and advertisers, nothing comes for free nowadays, and it’s something that will continue. But to suggest no articles on here arouse discussion makes you look a bit of a numpty, RR receives far more comments than most blogs out there, so please, if you’re going to throw some shit at least throw shit that sticks.

  8. Moscow is my heaven

    March 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I don’t understand, this article wasn’t even waxing lyrical about either club or any club for that matter. This was a big game in Europe, and if United weren’t involved, perhaps we could discuss how Milan were able to strangle the Barca midfield and how we can integrate some of the tactics that allowed Milan to prevent B*rca from scoring. I know we will be destroyed should we meet them again, playing Park and Giggs (probably in his forties) in a 4-4-2 formation, but it’s interesting to see some modern tactical nous being displayed against the Catalans for once.

    Whatever, Welbeck is the new van Nistelrooy and Anderson is gonna be laughing at Fabregas when he lifts Ballon d’Or 2-3 years down the line. Rooney is the new Zidane, joy to watch in midfield. I’m so excited about Giggs and Scholes signing 5 year contract extensions, maintaining our world class midfield and Cleverley is the new Xavi. We’ll bridge the gap to Athletic Bilbao 🙄

    By the way, can we drop this Barcelona censorship? Honestly, god help us if we play them again, full posts will have to be censored, which reeks of obsession more than actually talking about them.

    • Ian

      March 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Moscow – censorship dropped, no problem.

      I agree with you too, there’s nothing wrong with talking about Barcelona but sometimes this place just wanks over them (and others) and rips the arse out of anything to do with United after they ONLY beat West Brom 2-0 at home or god forbid our young team takes a lesson from a pretty decent Spanish outfit, the perspective is way out of kilter on here sometimes, the post was a preview of something that never has and never will see the light of RedRants’ homepage again, I just wanted to get a reaction…..and tbf, it’s worryingly not that bad of a reaction 🙁

      • Craig Mc

        March 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        @Ian: West Brom – GUILTY as charged 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

  9. AndyCR7

    March 30, 2012 at 8:11 am

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