NEWS
Tuesday September 13 2011
Line-ups: Cassano-Pato face Barca

Milan look to Antonio Cassano, Alexandre Pato and Kevin-Prince Boateng against Barcelona.

The Champions League kicks off this evening with what Adriano Galliani has dubbed ‘The Derby of the World' between the reigning European champions and the club with more world titles in its history.

The Rossoneri must adapt due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's muscular injury, which also looks likely to keep him out of the weekend clash with Napoli, and Robinho is out with a groin problem.

Cassano therefore steps in to partner Pato with support from Boateng at the Nou Camp.

Gennaro Gattuso sits out a three-match ban and Philippe Mexes is both suspended and injured, while Mathieu Flamini and Taye Taiwo are sidelined. Antonio Nocerino is chosen for the midfield role rather than Alberto Aquilani.

Milan were held 2-2 in their domestic game against Lazio on Friday and Barcelona had an identical result with Real Sociedad.

Carles Puyol had knee surgery on June 1 and is only fit for the bench, while Pedro Rodriguez completes the trident with Leo Messi and David Villa in a very attack-minded formation.

Alexis Sanchez is out for two months after the ex-Udinese starlet was stretchered off with a torn hamstring on Friday, joining long-term absentee Gerard Pique.

The Blaugrana are unbeaten in their last 10 home Champions League games, falling 2-1 to Rubin Kazan in the 2009-10 group phase. They had won nine on the trot until a 1-1 semi-final outing against Real Madrid last term.

The balance between the clubs is perfectly poised with four wins each and three stalemates. Milan's only win at the Nou Camp was 2-0 in the 2000-01 groups.

They haven't crossed paths since the semi-final in April 2006.

Barcelona: Valdes; D Alves, Mascherano, Busquets, Abidal; Keita, Xavi, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Puyol, Maxwell, Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Afellay, Adriano

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng; Cassano, Pato

Milan bench: Amelia, Yepes, Bonera, Antonini, Aquilani, Ambrosini, Emanuelson

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