Spanish juggernaut Barcelona will look to build on their lead in Champions League Group H on Wednesday when they host AC Milan at Camp Nou.
The two clubs played to a 1-1 draw in Italy last month as Lionel Messi canceled out an early goal from Robinho with a 23rd-minute strike of his own. But while Massimiliano Allegri's squad were fortunate to come away with a point, the draw put Milan two points back of Barca in the race to win Group H.
While Gerardo Martino's Barca club will be heavy favorites to win this week's pivotal match, Milan certainly possess the talent in players like Mario Balotelli, Robinho and others to keep things interesting.
Below, we'll get you set with everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday's clash atop Group H.
Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Start Time: 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. GMT
Where: Camp Nou, Barcelona
Watch: FOX Deportes
Barcelona: 77.4 percent
AC Milan: 6.8 percent
Draw: 15.8 percent
*Odds according to Bloomberg Sports.
Top Storyline: Will Lionel Messi Finally End His Scoring Drought?
Barca superstar Lionel Messi—currently in the midst of a rare scoring drought following his return from a thigh injury that forced him to miss several weeks last month—has admitted that he is less than 100 percent physically at the moment, according to ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan.
And although it's unfair to pin Messi's scoring drought on his injury, there's no doubt it's been a contributing factor.
The 25-year-old Argentine still ranks third in La Liga with eight goals this season, but he hasn't netted a goal since Barcelona's draw with Milan on Oct. 22. Messi has recorded 18 shots and one assist in three league matches since then but hasn't found the scoreboard.
You can bet all eyes will be fixated on No. 10 on Wednesday as he looks to end his scoring drought before it stretches four consecutive matches.
Despite the fact that their star is struggling, Barcelona appear nearly unbeatable at the moment. The Catalan giants haven't lost a match this season and have won three in a row in La Liga since their draw with Milan.
At Camp Nou, Martino's men are 7-1-0 in 2013-14. That mark includes a 4-0 win over Ajax in their only Champions League home match thus far. It all adds up to bad news for a Milan club that has dropped two of three games since last month's meeting with Barca.
Watch for Barca to continue to amaze with their possession and create plenty of scoring chances regardless of whether Messi can up his form. Plus, they've only conceded one goal through three Champions League games. The key to that has been limiting their opponents' opportunities.
Barcelona 2, AC Milan 0
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