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.
|Atletico Madrid hot favourites to beat capital rivals Getafe|
Back Visitors To Win To Nil
|Sevillas Carlos Bacca can continue goal scoring form against Villarreal|
Back A Draw
|AC Milan v Fiorentina Odds On Fire Honda Can Power Rossoneri To Victory|
Struggling Viola Face Tough Task In Milan
|Unbeaten Chelsea are marginal favourites for Premier League clash with Man Utd at Old Trafford|
Ivanovic Is A Tempting Bet To Score Anytime
|Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich Odds Bundesligas form teams clash at Borussia Park|
Mario Gotze Tipped To Score For The Visitors
|Burnley v Everton Odds Lukaku heads the first scorer betting at Turf Moor|
Burnley Search For A First Win Of The Season
|El Clasico rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona tipped to play out a draw at the Bernabeu|
Back Ronaldo & Messi To Score
|Celta Vigo v Levante Odds Celts backed to return to winning ways|
Back Nolito To Score
|Sampdoria v Roma Odds Iturbe Can Score Against the Blucerchiati|
Samp Looking To Maintain Unbeaten Serie A Start
|Bayer Leverkusen v Schalke Odds Huntelaar tipped to score at the BayArena|
Di Matteo Looking For A Third Win On The Trot
|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
|2014 Racing Post Trophy Preview Jacobean To Bag Doncaster Prize|
Aidan O'Brien Has Won This Race Seven Times
|Swansea V Leicester Betting Wilfried Bony Is Favourite To Open The Scoring|
Swans Tipped To Score The First Goal
|El Clasico Rivals Real Madrid And Barcelona Tipped To Play Out A Draw At The Bernabeu|
Back Ronaldo & Messi To Score
|Weekends Banker Fourfold Tips Up Wins For Derby Preston Wimbledon And Shrewsbury|
Preston Can Continue Winning Run At Home To Fleetwood
|Jake Wood Tops Strictly Betting League Whilst Judy Murray Faces Relegation|
Caroline Flack Could Challenge Favourites
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