Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
When the draw was made pitting AC Milan against Atletico Madrid it looked rather one sided.
The Rossoneri are not what they were, languishing in ninth in Serie A currently and Diego Simeone’s Atletico have been one of the stories of the season, putting up a stern fight to the established superpowers of Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga.
Atletico Madrid remain heavy favourites to qualify for the next round of the Champions League – 1.33 compared to AC Milan at 3.25 with Winner.com – but we fancy Clarence Seedorf to galvanise his side tonight.
The arrival of Seedorf as coach has perhaps not made too much difference with AC Milan’s performances but they have looked a little more organised and do have match winners in their starting line-up.
If, and its a major if, the likes of Kaka, Adel Taarabt and Mario Balotelli can fire together, AC Milan will be a very tough team to stop.
Keisuke Honda, who has been impressive since joining in January, is cup tied, whilst the likes of Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy and Bryan Cristante are injured.
Atletico Madrid have also shown signs of late that they may be tiring with three successive defeats, twice to Real Madrid with a loss at Almeria in La Liga sandwiched in between.
Diego Simeone has made very few changes all season and although the 3-0 win over Real Valladolid keeps them level on points at the top of La Liga, their star players have barely been rested.
Influential full back Filipe Luis misses out on the trip to the San Siro due to injury and midfielder Tiago is also unavailable.
Much will depend on Diego Costa and this is a big game for Atletico who breezed through the group stages.
101gg predicts: AC Milan to win 2-1 (13.0) & Mario Balotelli to score the last goal (6.50).