5 things to know when Atletico plays AC Milan

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm •  Published: March 10, 2014
Advertisement
;

MADRID (AP) — Mario Balotelli is back for AC Milan, and that could be bad news for Atletico Madrid.

Atletico, already holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg, will host Milan on Tuesday in the last 16 of the Champions League.

But Balotelli's return after missing the first leg with a shoulder injury will be a boost for the Italian club as it looks for an eighth European Cup title.

Here are five things to know about the match at Vicente Calderon Stadium:

___

BALOTELLI'S BACK

After missing the first leg with a shoulder injury, Mario Balotelli returned to action on Saturday as a substitute in Milan's 1-0 loss at Udinese.

"Their team is stocked with talent, and Balotelli is one of their biggest threats. But not their only one," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said Monday. "Our worry will be about shutting down their play from the point where it begins, so it doesn't reach him."

Milan counterpart Clarence Seedorf said his team would not obsess over Atletico striker Diego Costa.

"They are important players for each team but I don't want to overlook the rest of the squad," Seedorf said. "Diego Costa is a fantastic player but Atletico plays as a team, that is their strength."

___

HISTORY BOYS

Atletico hasn't reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League since 1997 — when Simeone played for the club — but it has won all UEFA series after taking the first leg.

Milan, meanwhile, hasn't overcome a first-leg home loss in Europe's top-tier competition since the 1955-56 season when it rallied past German club Saarbrucken.

"I don't know what kind of game to expect," Simeone said. "After the first leg result, they need a goal. We need to control the game."

___

Continue reading this story on the...