Both coaches foresee an intense encounter and Josep Guardiola believes AC Milan will find the net, so FC Barcelona must "score more" when their quarter-final concludes.
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Josep Guardiola will send his FC Barcelona players out with a simple order on Tuesday night: to outscore AC Milan in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final. Guardiola, wary of Milan's attack, believes the visitors will find the net and so said: "We have to find the way to score more." His Rossoneri counterpart Massimo Allegri said it would take "the perfect match" to oust the holders but noted that a win or draw could be enough for the Serie A leaders.
Coach Josep Guardiola
The situation is simple: the winner will be in the semi-finals. It's easy to analyse that, so we have to win the match. We have to think that Milan will score and they are capable enough of scoring at least one goal. We have to generate as much attacking momentum and danger as possible. I think we will have possession of the ball but we have to find the way to create chances. I think they could score more than one goal, so we have to find the way to score more.
Milan are capable of dominating the game and generating dangerous situations. They have a very strong counterattack and their players reach the opposition penalty box very easily. We need a ladder to stop a player like Zlatan Ibrahimović because he's so tall. If it's a high ball we know it's for Ibrahimović because of his height. We will try therefore to keep him away from the box.
It's tough to play with three at the back, I will think about that. It depends on the players and their feedback. I will see tomorrow. Xavi [Hernández] has missed the last two days' training but he has improved with his calf injury and we will decide tomorrow if he's fit. We will try to find the best way to attack them and generate many chances from minute one. We have to play intensely, move as fast as possible and into good positions, that's vital tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.
If you say that Messi doesn't score much against Italian teams, then you know what happens: he will score lots.
Saturday 31 March: Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Club (Iniesta 40, Messi 58pen)
Valdés; Alves, Mascherano, Piqué, Adriano; Thiago, Busquets, Iniesta (Xavi 77); Sánchez (Keita 83), Messi, Tello (Pedro 62).
• Messi took his tally to 22 goals in his last 11 games for club and country as Barça claimed an eighth successive Liga win and stretched their winning run at home to seven matches in all competitions.
Adriano started on Saturday after two games out with a thigh strain but Cesc Fàbregas sat out the match with a back problem. A late substitute against Athletic, Xavi is doubtful because of a calf injury and, after missing training on Monday, will undergo a late fitness test before the game.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri
We will have to play a very intense match, with courage, because to qualify for the semi-finals we have to score. We know of Barcelona's qualities so we have to make sure we have a positive attitude, play as a team, knowing that two results of the three possible combinations suit us. I will see after training who will play up front. Pato has just recovered from an injury but he could be important tomorrow.
They had the possession in the first leg but I think we had more chances than they did. I expected that, maybe others didn't, but I did. When you have two teams of this level, you have it more balanced than you would expect.
I think Ibrahimović played a good match in the first leg. He worked very hard and was a reference point for our attack. I think we have the chance to be dangerous in attack as in the group stage and the first leg. We have to know how to play in every stage of the game tomorrow. There will be moments to attack, moments to defend and moments when we will have to do both. In the quarter-finals, anything can happen. We have to play a perfect match let's say [but] in the end, it's the result that counts.
Saturday 31 March: Calcio Catania 1-1 Milan (Spolli 57; Robinho 34)
Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Mexès, Antonini; Aquilani (López 85), Ambrosini, Nocerino, Emanuelson (Boateng 52); Ibrahimović, Robinho (El Shaarawy 73).
• Robinho's first goal in six outings helped the Rossoneri extend their unbeaten run to six matches
Pato travelled with the squad and could feature for the first time since 25 February. Ignazio Abate started on Saturday after four games out with a thigh injury but Mark van Bommel is still missing with a back problem. Thiago Silva and Alexander Merkel are also sidelined.
Barcelona are unbeaten in 14 home fixtures dating back to October 2009, with 12 wins and two draws at the Camp Nou since then, including the 7-1 defeat of Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the round of 16.