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P.J. Murray 27th Mar 2012 - 20:33

Wednesday's Champions League Preview

AC Milan and Marseille may have home advantage for their quarter-final first legs, but that doesn't mean favouritism when you face Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.

AC Milan v Barcelona

The Special one will need to be at his best for this clash, not Mourinho or Messi, no, Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (7/1 first, 2/1 anytime). Many will argue that the Swede is the number two behind Messi, he managed to conjure a come from behind win for Milan against Roma at the weekend. It's also worth nothing that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored in five of his last six appearances in the Champions League, as well as providing three assists in this period.

We have a Match Winner offer which revolves around Messi, we are offering at 2/1 that Messi will score more than AC Milan. Considering his recent record breaking record, that may not be the worst shout.

The visitors are 8/11 to take a lead into next week's second leg at the Camp Nou, something which would probably end the tie as a competitive fixture. Milan are 4/1 to cause a shock and the draw is 5/2.

The last occasion that Barcelona lost a Champions League knockout tie came against Italian opposition. They lost 3-1 at the San Siro against Inter Milan in the 2009-10 semi final first leg, before winning 1-0 at home in the second leg.

I reckon Milan will nick a goal at home, Zlatan is an egotistical player and he will want to prove that he is better than Messi and I fancy him to score, but Barca should take a lead back to the Camp Nou with them, 1-2 (7/1) could well be the score after 90 minutes.

Marseille v Bayern Munich

The Germans are edging closer and closer to securing a place in the Champions League final which is due to be held in the Allianz Arena. They demolished Basel in the last round, 7-1 on aggregate, but Ligue 1 side Marseille will not be as easy.

On the last two occasions that a German side have reached the Champions League quarter final stage (Bayern in 2009/10 and Schalke in 2010/11); they have progressed to the semis. While this is the furthest that Marseille have gone on the Champions League since winning the competition in 1992/93.

Bayern (5/6)  have to be favoured considering their opponents are looking to shake off an eight game winless streak. They lost seven in a row, a 1-1 draw with Nice at the weekend ending that losing streak. I can't imagine that the 19/5 shots are going to get their first win against a very efficient Bayern side.

We have a match winner on this game, Franck Ribery, the midfield maestro, to score two or more goals is 8/1. I fancy Bayern to put in a very disciplined performance and possibly win with a one goal handicap at 11/5.

Four of the five goals that Marseille have scored in their last three Champions League games have arrived in the final five minutes of the game. It's 10/3 for the hosts to score a goal between the 76th minute and full time.


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