Two European giants meet in the Champions League on Wednesday night as AC Milan welcome Barcelona to the San Siro for the first leg of their last-sixteen tie (Sky Sports 2, 7.45pm). Seven-time European champions Milan go into the match with four-time winners Barcelona as underdogs and they will have to upset the odds if they are to get anything out of this week's match.
Milan are 9/2 to win the first leg on Wednesday but it is Barcelona who go in as 8/15 odds on favourites with Ladbrokes. The draw catches the eye at 16/5 though and that could be the way to go as neither side will want to give an inch in this opening match of the two-legged tie and the improved recent form of Milan will give them hope.
Massimo Allegri's side, who are third in Serie A, have been a team transformed since the turn of the year and they have now lost just one of their last 13 in all competitions. They are unbeaten in their last six and have won each of their last six in a row at home. That form is in stark contrast to the start of the season where they were struggling in Serie A and limped through qualifying in the Champions League.
They failed to win any of their home games during the group stages but things are looking up for the Italian giants. Mario Balotelli has been in inspired form since joining from Manchester City in January and he has scored four goals in three games, although he is cup-tied this week and Giampaolo Pazzini is likely to replace him in a three-man attack.
Pazzini has scored four goals in his last four appearances for Milan and he is a juicy 10/1 to be first goalscorer in the latest betting with Ladbrokes, who are offering to refund losing first scorer bets on the match if Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores first or last. Messi is an obvious choice in that first scorer market as he has now scored 56 goals in his last 74 Champions League appearances, while he has scored 12 in his last nine outings in all competitions for Barca.
Messi scored both goals in his side's 2-1 win at Granada in La Liga at the weekend and he is a best price 11/4 to score first this week. The win over Granada extended Barcelona's lead at the top of their domestic table to 12 points and they have the luxury of focusing on European success during the next few months.
They have only lost two of their last 24 Champions League games but their recent form will be a slight concern as they have won just two of their last five away games. Furthermore, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in nine and the 8/13 for both teams to score could be worth a look for odds on backers on Wednesday.
Milan have the firepower to cause Barcelona problems, although recent Milan v Barcelona fixtures certainly favour the Spanish side. Milan are winless in seven against Barca, a run that stretches back to 2004, and Barca claimed a 3-1 aggregate win in the quarter finals of this competition last year. Messi scored three in three against Milan last year, although it is worth noting that three of the last five meetings have ended in draws.
AC Milan v Barcelona Form
Check the season's statistics for both AC Milan and Barcelona, plus the odds ahead of Wednesday's match.
AC Milan v Barcelona Tips
Tip #1: Draw @ 16/5 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #2: Both teams to score @ 8/13 with Ladbrokes.
Tip #3: Giampaolo Pazzini to score first @ 10/1 with Ladbrokes.
9/2 AC Milan
To Qualify Betting
9/2 AC Milan
Correct Score Odds
18/1 AC Milan 1-0
25/1 AC Milan 2-0
16/1 AC Milan 2-1
12/1 Draw 0-0
8/1 Draw 1-1
14/1 Draw 2-2
8/1 Barcelona 1-0
15/2 Barcelona 2-0
15/2 Barcelona 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
9/4 Lionel Messi
5/1 David Villa
11/2 Rodriguez Pedro
6/1 Alexis Sanchez
6/1 Cesc Fabregas
8/1 Cristian Tello
8/1 Stephan El Shaarawy
9/1 Giampaolo Pazzini
11/1 Krkic Bojan
12/1 Alcantara Thiago
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Champions League matches.
|AC Milan v Palermo Odd Rossoneri Can Score San Siro Success|
Palermo Looking For First Away Win Of The Season
|Paderborn v Hertha Berlin Odds Match betting is tight for Bundesliga clash|
Salomon Kalou Is Favourite To Score First
|Back Tottenham to inflict a sixth straight defeat on Aston Villa on Sunday|
Villa Have Lost Their Last Five Without Scoring
|Villarreal v Valencia Odds Back goals galore in La Liga derby match|
The Yellow Submarine Favourites At El Madrigal
|Spanish La Liga treble features wins for Atletico Real and Barcelona on Saturday|
Atletico And Barca Tipped To Win Televised Games
|Levante v Almeria Odds Visitors to bag three points in La Liga clash|
Levante Have Lost Their Last Four Home Games
|Sampdoria v Fiorentina Odds Betting is tight for Serie A clash at Stadio Luigi Ferraris|
Samp Bid To Bounce Back From First Defeat Of Season
|United bid to add to Citys woes in the Manchester Derby at The Etihad|
Back Both Teams To Score On Sunday
|Schalke can get Bundesliga best bets treble off to a flying start on Friday night|
Wolfsburg Tipped For A Fifth Win In A Row Against Stuttgart
|Bournemouth v Brighton Odds Pugh Looks A Good Bet To Continue Scoring Form|
In Form Cherries Should Be Too Good In South Coast Derby
|Crawley V Doncaster Odds Draw A Tempting Bet At Broadfield|
Meanwhile a win would send Rovers top
|Porto V Malaga Odds In Form Jackson Martinez Heads The First Scorer Betting|
Portuguese side favourites for first leg clash
|FA Cup Quarter Final Draw Leaves Manchester City At The Head Of The Outright Betting|
City drawn with Barnsley in the last eight
|Arsenal V Bayern Munich Odds German Side Even Money For A Crucial First Leg Win|
Arsene Wenger under pressure ahead of last 16 clash
|Man Utd V Reading Odds Reds Firm Favourites In The Fifth Round Betting|
All Premiership tie in FA Cup on Monday
|Newcastle Bid To Maintain Fine Run Of Form By Upsetting The Odds Against Liverpool|
Back Both Teams To Score At St James Park
|Wolves V Birmingham Odds Blues Search For A Change Of Fortunes Under Gary Rowett|
Wolves Odds On For A Third Straight Win At Molineux
|Silviniaco Conti Short Odds To Land Second Charlie Hall Chase|
The Giant Bolster A Value Bet Alternative
|Breeders Cup Mile Odds Anodin Taken To Give Rivals Head Ache|
Betting Headed By Hannon's Toronado
|In Focus Telescope Can Zoom To Breeders Cup Turf Success|
Flintshire Should Run Well In Massive Santa Anita Contest
Betfred are amazingly offering double odds on your first bet with them, up to a stake unit of £10. In addition to this you can also claim a £25 free bet.
Open Account - Free £25 Bet With Betfred
Ladbrokes are one of the highest rated online bookmakers in the UK and are a superb choice for placing your bets. You can claim a free bet of up to £100 when opening a new account with Ladbrokes by clicking on one of the links on this site.
Bet £5 or more and Ladbrokes will match this with a free bet to the same stake unit.
Open Account - £100 Free Bet - Ladbrokes
Get free bets totalling £30 with bookmaker Sky Bet
Open Account - Open Account - Get £30 in free bets with Sky Bet
Those looking for some online casino entertainment ought to check out all the latest UK Casino Sign Up offers from the top operators including 32Red and many of the sports betting casinos.
There is excellent information, should you be interested in playing online blackjack, roulette, the best progressives or slots - Online Casino Betting with the best introductory offers