NEWS
Wednesday February 20 2013
Line-ups: Milan-Barcelona

Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini and Kevin-Prince Boateng take on Leo Messi, Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez in tonight’s Champions League showdown.

The first leg of this Round of 16 tie kicks off at 19.45 GMT and the eyes of the world are on a sold out San Siro.

Mario Balotelli is cup-tied, while Robinho, Mathieu Flamini, Antonio Nocerino, Daniele Bonera, Luca Antonini and Nigel De Jong are injured.

El Shaarawy has shaken off a knee injury to start with Pazzini and Boateng in a flexible 4-3-3 system that could see the Ghanaian switch from the right to a trequartista role during the game.

Sulley Ali Muntari completes the midfield with Riccardo Montolivo and veteran captain Massimo Ambrosini.

There are numerous injuries in defence, so Cristian Zapata partners Philippe Mexes.

Barcelona are among the favourites for the Champions League trophy this season, but Coach Tito Vilanova is absent as he undergoes treatment for cancer, so assistant manager Jordi Roura sits on the bench.

Naturally, all eyes are on World Player of the Year Messi, who is joined by Spain hero Iniesta.

Xavi Hernandez was a doubt after missing two Liga games with a hamstring tear, but is back in the starting XI.

David Villa and Adriano are unavailable.

Milan (4-3-3): Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Ambrosini, Montolivo, Muntari; Boateng, Pazzini, El Shaarawy

Milan bench: Amelia, Yepes, De Sciglio, Cristante, Traoré, Bojan, Niang

Barcelona (4-3-3): Victor Valdes; Dani Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Iniesta

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Montoya, Mascherano, Song, Thiago Alcantara, Sanchez, Tello

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES