Barça will play their biggest game of the season tonight, as they attempt to turn around the 0-2 defeat in Milan and earn a place in the last eight of the Champions League. This generation of Barça players have won everything in the game, with few records left to beat and just one big challenge ahead of them – to come back from a losing position in a European tie.
The last three weeks have seen messages of support and optimism from the squad, who are full of self-belief and they are sure to be boosted by a full house at the Camp Nou tonight, under the slogan “we are a team together!”.
Xavi is Barça’s main worry…..
Barça’s job is clear – attack, attack, attack….and defend well! The team need at least two goals and it’s important to stop Milan scoring at all. Tito Vilanova and Jordi Roura’s team will be sweating on the fitness of Xavi Hernàndez, who has been training with the squad over the last few days and should be fit – unlike Marc Bartra who is definitely out. Barça have four players who are just a yellow card away from suspension - Adriano, Song, Mascherano and Pedro.
….and the Milan defence is another!
Milan are expected to sit deep and present a well-ordered side, with dangerous counter attacking possibilities – a tactic that certainly worked at the San Siro. The Italians come into the game on the back of a great run that has seen them remain unbeaten during 2013. Indeed, none of Milan’s results so far this season would have been enough to give Barça a win in the tie. The cup-tied Balotelli and the injured Pazzini will both be missing, whilst Mexes is doubtful.