This could feasibly be the Champions League final next May at the Allianz Arena, with the champions of Spain and Italy clashing at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.
Milan could certainly have done without such a stern test considering that the Italian season is just one game old and their Friday opener against Lazio was a highly eventful affair which saw the visitors storm into a 2-0 lead before the Rossoneri had the scoreline level at half-time.
Massimiliano Allegri will focus on making life difficult for the holders in this match and a draw can be backed at odds of 5/1 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets), while a shock away win is priced at 12/1 (Stan James) and that is a reflection on how much the bookmakers fear this current Barcelona side.
However, Pep Guardiola’s team were two goals to the good on Saturday before Real Sociedad pegged them back and the manager will be looking for his team to remember their defensive duties on Tuesday night.
Barca are a best price 3/10 (Paddy Power – £100 free betting) to claim a maximum haul and there will be many who are tempted by the Irish firm’s 4/5 that the winner of last year’s tournament lead at half-time and full-time.
Lionel Messi regularly tops the Champions League scoring charts and Coral are bravest with their 3/1 about the Argentine breaking the deadlock in this match, with David Villa on offer at 4/1 and Cesc Fabregas also likely to be deployed in an attacking role.
This match will see Zlatan Ibrahimovic return to the Nou Camp to face his former employers and the Swede can be backed at 12/1 to give Barcelona a rude awakening although it will be the visitors who have to do most of the defending in this match.