Barcelona v AC Milan preview

A match which historically would pit two of football’s superpowers
against each other takes place at the Nou Camp with the sides no
longer on a level playing field following the decline of Italian
football. Milan head to Catalonia as Serie A champions but Allegri
concedes they will be underdogs against the side recognised as the
best in the world at present. “We’re ready to play this game, a
game of great prestige and the first in the Champions League this
season,” he told reporters. “We’re going to try to make a good
start and be balanced in defence and attack. Right now, they are
the team playing the best football, they have the highest quality –
both individually and as a team – but we have our own quality,
we’re a good team. “We’re AC Milan, so we must play with courage.
In football, you can never take anything for granted. “There will
be a lot of attention on the match and we must have great respect
for Barcelona. But we have qualities to make it a good football
game. “We’ll go with peace of mind. Tomorrow is not a final, it’s
the first game of the round. It’s against a team who have recently
won a lot but our goal is to go through.” Asked about Zlatan
Ibrahimovic’s return to the Nou Camp following his bittersweet
spell in 2009-10, Allegri said: “He’s proved himself and he’s
proving he can be a champion on the big stage.” Allegri confirmed
he will make changes from the side which drew 2-2 with Lazio in
Friday’s Serie A opener and will choose between Antonio Cassano and
Alexandre Pato to partner Ibrahimovic up front. Makeshift Barcelona
defender Sergio Busquets has urged his Barcelona team-mates to use
tomorrow’s match to bounce back from Saturday’s league
disappointment. Barca let a 2-0 lead slip to draw 2-2 with Real
Sociedad in their second Primera Division game of the season at the
weekend, with holding midfielder Busquets operating in central
defence at the Anoeta. He admitted: “Morale is not the best today
but we’ll give a reaction. “Milan is another game, another
competition, and we’ll go for it. With the help and support of our
fans we’ll make it a great night in the Champions League. “Milan
have great players, especially up front. Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho
and Cassano are very dangerous and we’ll have to keep an eye on
them.” Barca boss Pep Guardiola is still without first-choice
central defensive pair Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique while forward
Alexis Sanchez is out for eight weeks with a hamstring tear.