Lee Dixon: I'm backing goals as Barca hunt down Milan's first leg lead

Can the little man fire Barca to a famous win?

AC Milan shocked Barcelona with a 2-0 win in the first leg but, while it's easy to imagine the Spanish giants scoring the goals they need, can they hold the visitors out? Lee Dixon doesn't think so...

"The Nou Camp has not seen a home clean sheet in the last six knockout matches played in Catalonia."

Back Both Teams to Score @ 1.910/11 


What a tie! Tuesday night's game at the Nou Camp is perfectly poised and could provide us with a Champions League classic

Milan hold the whip hand following that 2-0 win in the first leg, but Barcelona have not become a poor team overnight and there will be plenty of punters willing to take the 2.56/4 on the Primera Division leaders going through

We know that Barca can overturn the first leg deficit. Their attacking riches are the envy of club football and they have scored an astonishing 85 goals in 27 league games this year. No other team in Spanish football can rival that total - their nearest rivals are Real Madrid with 66. 

Of course, it helps when you have a genius in the side and Lionel Messi is responsible for 39 of the 85 goals. For all that though, the little Argentinian was off form in the first leg, failing to get a shot on target. They need more from him at the Nou Camp. 

And despite the obvious quality in the Spanish side, it's easy to see why punters have made the Italian side favourites to progress. Their form in Serie A this year has been very impressive, and their first leg lead offers a handy cushion. 

Milan's game plan will surely be to frustrate Barca and play on the break. Other teams - Celtic this year, Chelsea last year - have enjoyed notable success with that tactic.

It seems ridiculous to criticise Barcelona but they appear to have one method of attack. While they're the best team in the world when it comes together, they don't appear to have a plan b when it doesn't. If AC can keep it tight through the middle and force Barcelona out wide they have a chance of riding out the storm and making the last eight.  

The stats are not in their favour though - Opta tell us that AC Milan haven't kept a clean sheet in their last eight away games in the Champions League. 

But there are similarly damning stats about Barca - the Nou Camp has not seen a home clean sheet in the last six knockout matches played in Catalonia. 

Goals seem certain then, so I will take a chance on Both Teams to Score at around 1.910/11. Milan have enough pace on the break to beat the Barca defence at least once, and you just have to fancy the home side to get on the scoresheet. 

The qualification market is too risky for me. A Milan goal would seemingly kill it dead but would you really put it past Barca to score the four they would then need? It's an in-play option perhaps.

Sit back and enjoy this one - it could be spectacular!


Recommended Bets 

Back Both Teams to Score @ 1.910/11 


The Tactical View: Michael Cox

Barcelona have conceded in their previous 13 matches in all competitions, and with the pace of Stephan El Shaaraway on the break in behind Daniel Alves - a battle which the former clearly won in the first leg - I really fancy Milan to score an away goal, which would leave Barcelona needing to score four. Whether they'll reach that number is doubtful, but Milan's back four isn't as good as they looked in the first leg, and another clean sheet seems unlikely. Therefore, like Lee, I'll back both sides to score.

The Betfair Trader's View: Alan Thompson

Barcelona have not suffered a home defeat in their last 19 Champions League home games (W15, D4) but a win may not be enough as they attempt to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against AC Milan on Tuesday night. It is a tough ask and the stats are certainly against Barcelona – in 28 Champions League ties, only four times has a deficit of more than one goal been overturned and no side has ever salvaged a two-goal first-leg defeat without the benefit of an away goal.

Despite these stats and Barcelona’s poor recent form, I am going with Barcelona to turn this around and get through. They have amassed an incredible 85 goals so far this season and at home they are scoring an average of 3.5 goals per game. I will be backing Barcelona to qualify at 2.5 (2.4) and I also can’t resist having a little nibble at the tasty 7.0 (6-1) available on Barcelona to win the competition.

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