Champions League: Back Milan to qualify despite Barcelona win
Barcelona finally got a long awaited win against Deportivo on Saturday to bounce back after catastrophically losing consecutive games against Real Madrid.
Okay, so that may be ‘slightly’ over the top, but it’s pretty consistent with the hyperbole that’s surrounded Barcelona’s mini slump.
They have lost three of their last five games and head into this week’s Champions League second leg tie against AC Milan 2-0 down.
Despite that humbling in Italy, Barca are still expected to bag a victory in the return leg, with the La Liga leaders currently available at tiny 2/7 to get a win in 90 minutes.
However, whilst their victory against Deportivo – a win that included a Lionel Messi strike – showed they’re not a spent force, there’s still plenty of reason to get on AC Milan at 3/5 – not least the way they handled Messi in the first leg.
The Argentinean was hardly at his world-beating best but, Milan still kept him wrapped up for most of the game and didn’t allow the striker a single shot on goal at the San Siro.
Milan have also lost just three of their last ten Champions League away games and only one of those defeats – a 3-0 loss at Arsenal – saw them lose by a score that would get them knocked out against Barca.
There is also Barca’s rather poor defensive record at home in the Champions League to take into account.
They have kept just one clean sheet in their last six games at the Nou Camp and have shipped a brace in two of those clashes.
Finally, with no Italian side being knocked out in a two-legged European tie after a 2-0 home win since 1996, backing AC Milan to finish the job looks very tempting at 3/5.