The latest Barcelona v AC Milan odds as Lionel Messi continues to attract support in the goalscorer betting markets, with 9/4 on the Argentian to score first attracting plenty of attention.
Lionel Messi hasn’t scored in four games, a barren spell he hasn’t experienced in nearly six years and one that has the Catalan press (and the Madrid for different reasons) wondering what is to become of the little Argentine.
Of course it doesn’t really mean anything other than he is struggling for his usual fluency after having his early season interrupted by a muscle strain and Milan will certainly not be preparing for the match thinking Messi is less likely not to score than to score.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri has locked away his team from the media at the club’s training complex since Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Fiorentina in the San Siro, a performance he called “embarrassing”.
The defeat was their fourth game without a win, leaving them 11th in the table and under fire from their supporters who were criticl throughout the performance and Allegri who called their play in the last half hour of the match the worst he has seen in his three and a half years at the club.
Against Barcelona though they could have won after starting with a clear attacking bent, leading to Sulley Muntari having an early goal ruled out correctly for offside before Robinho collected Javier Mascherano’s stray pass and played a one-two with Kaka then slotted home.
After Messi equalised, Robinho has a chance to regain the lead for the Italians but he was just shy of reaching Muntari’s cross marking a spirited if not superior performance from Allegri’s men.
While many expected the draw to be the catalyst which would turn thei domestic season around it’s had the opposite effect and Kaka has said this week that they must use the Champions League challenge to their advantage.
“For us this is a difficult moment, but the match against Barcelona can be an opportunity. We should try to play a good game, as we did in the reverse fixture.
“We want to leave our current situation with all our might. I will not make any promises. The goals and assists are technical aspects, but I can bet on the desire of the group. Against Barcelona in the first game we showed that we are capable of playing a great game.”
The Brazilian who signed from Real Madrid this summer has been one of the bright points of Milan’s season and has done his best to get Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy sparking but neither has shown the instinct in front of goal that they enjoyed last season and their early season has been disrupted by injury.
El Shaaraway hasn’t played since September but Balotelli is likely to be fit for the clash as Allegri said he will be assessed after training in the Nou Camp.