NEWS
Tuesday October 22 2013
Line-ups: Milan-Barcelona

Milan start with strikerless Kaka, Robinho and Valter Birsa against Leo Messi and Neymar’s Barcelona tonight.

The Champions League Group H tie kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Although Mario Balotelli has recovered enough from a muscular problem to be in the squad, he will be on the bench.

Kaka makes his European ‘debut’ in a Rossoneri jersey, having returned from a month out with a thigh injury.

He completes a ‘strikerless’ front three with Robinho and Birsa, aiming to give Barcelona’s defence no reference points.

Christian Abbiati is injured and Gabriel not on the Champions League list, so Marco Amelia is the only choice in goal.

Also sidelined are Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera and Mattia De Sciglio.

Barcelona are top of Group H with six points after two rounds and start with Neymar, Messi and former Udinese starlet Alexis Sanchez.

Naturally, Messi is the main threat, having scored an incredible 25 goals in his last 22 Champions League appearances.

Jordi Alba, Ibrahima Afellay and Isaac Cuenca are unavailable for Coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martinez.

The Blaugrana had won their first eight Liga matches, but were held to a 0-0 draw by Osasuna at the weekend.

Javier Mascherano is on the bench after recovering from a hamstring strain.

Milan have gone out to Barcelona in both of the last two seasons, even though they won the home leg 2-0 last term.

The referee is German Felix Brych, who hit headlines last week when awarding a ‘phantom’ goal that went in through a hole in the side-netting during Hoffenheim-Bayer Leverkusen.

Milan: Amelia; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Muntari, De Jong, Montolivo; Kaka, Robinho, Birsa

Milan bench: Coppola, Silvestre, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Poli, Matri, Balotelli

Barcelona: Victor Valdes; Adriano, Mascherano, Pique, Dani Alves; Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi; Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, Messi

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Fabregas, Song, Pedro, Tello

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES