Soccer Picks: AC Milan vs. Barcelona

Steven Suarez

Sunday, October 20, 2013 3:24 PM GMT

Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 3:24 PM GMT

How about this for a heavyweight Champions League showdown? Messi is back, but does that automatically mean Barcelona is the right play?


Odds Overview

Barcelona is the favorite at -170, with AC Milan at +500 and a draw at +320 or so in the soccer betting odds. Goals are expected, which is why the OVER 2.5 goals is getting juiced to -135, with the UNDER at plus money (+105).

AC Milan

The Rossoneri have been going through some mixed emotions lately, having won, lost, and drawn over their past three fixtures. In their first game since the break, they topped Udinese 1-0 at home thanks to a Valter Birsa winner.

In terms of European play, Milan needed to top PSV Eindhoven in order to even get into the group stages of the competition, but they did that easily (4-1 aggregate) and have so far gone undefeated in two matches, beating Celtic 2-0 and tying Ajax 1-1.

Mario Balotelli and Sulley Muntari have been the only two Milan players to score so far in the group stages and domestically both have three league goals to their names as well.

Balotelli is a highly controversial figure, but he has fantastic ability and is able to score at any given moment. He's been linking up nicely with Robinho, who already has four assists in Serie A play this season.

Milan can currently be found in eighth place in the league and they've won three and lost one in four matches at the San Siro – they've scored six goals and allowed three in those fixtures. Clearly they'll have to be at their very best defensively to keep the Catalans at bay.

More Champions League Picks right here~

Barcelona

The two weeks off didn't seem to help Barcelona much as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Osasuna this past weekend.

That being said, there was one big positive to come out of the match and that was the return of Messi, who came on as a substitute in the second half and didn't suffer any kind of setback.

Barcelona will be happy to have their superstar back in action. Messi's scored eight goals in seven La Liga appearances this season and netted a hat-trick in the 4-0 Champions League win over Ajax back in the middle of September.

The Catalans have secured all six points out of their first two group stage encounters, but it certainly wasn't easy against Celtic earlier this month. They found it hard to break down the Scottish side at Celtic Park and another intense atmosphere (and even more defensive discipline) can be expected at the San Siro on Tuesday.

If anyone can figure out a way through though, it's Messi and his Barcelona compatriots. 

[gameodds]8/244691/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Champions League Pick

When these soccer giants did battle in the quarter-finals of this competition last year, Barcelona won 4-2 on aggregate. They lost 2-0 at the San Siro in the first leg, but then thumped the Rossoneri 4-0 at the Nou Camp three weeks later. 

Messi was the star of the show there, scoring two early goals in the return leg, and will be called upon to provide some more magic in this mid-week clash. However, we don't see it being a foregone conclusion that Barcelona will win for our soccer picks

Milan will be prepared for the onslaught that is the Catalans' possession-based style and we see them holding on for a crucial point. 

Free Pick: AC Milan 1 Barcelona 1

comment here