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Page last updated at 23:33 GMT, Saturday, 12 February 2011

AC Milan and Barca prepare for Tottenham and Arsenal

Barcelona go 1-0 down
Barcelona had to regroup after conceding to Gijon on Saturday

AC Milan and Barcelona had mixed fortunes on Saturday ahead of the Champions League's resumption.

Serie A leaders AC Milan, who host Tottenham at the San Siro on Tuesday, remained three points clear of Napoli with a 4-0 win over Parma.

La Liga leaders Barcelona, who face Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday, saw their 16-match winning league run ended by a 1-1 draw to Sporting Gijon.

Spurs and Arsenal both won their Premier League matches on Saturday.

Barcelona's failure to see off Gijon will be an added fillip for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and his side ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, however.

The Spanish champions put in an unusually sloppy performance and it took a late, if classy, goal from David Villa to rescue a point. The Catalan giants are eight points ahead of Real Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Arsenal, in contrast, comfortably saw off Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates, with Robin van Persie scoring both goals in a 2-0 win.

Wenger hopes to have Van Persie, who has scored nine goals in the last five league games, fully fit for Wednesday's visit of Barcelona despite his withdrawal at the Emirates with a knee injury. Last season the Catalan giants knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp looks unlikely to have his Champions League talisman Gareth Bale - who scored a hat-trick against Inter Milan in November - fit for Tuesday's match at the San Siro.

Speaking after his side's 2-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Redknapp said Bale was still suffering with a back injury, as was striker Peter Crouch.

Cassano and Ibrahimovic celebrate
Cassano (left) scored his first goal for AC Milan on Saturday

"Gareth is not too far away. He's not going to be fit, I don't think, for Tuesday, but he's not too bad," the Spurs boss stated.

"The specialists have seen it, he's had an epidural injection. Peter Crouch has had the same problem and he is fine - in fact, his back looked a lot worse on the scan.

"He shouldn't be too long, but Tuesday may be just a bit too soon for him."

However, midfielder and leading scorer Rafael van der Vaart should be fit, but Redknapp's side will still be wary of AC Milan.

The Serie A leaders are on an unbeaten run of 10 games in all competitions and on Saturday, Antonio Cassano scored his first goal since joining from Sampdoria during the January transfer window.

Former Manchester City striker Robinho was also on target against Parma, scoring twice after Clarence Seedorf had bagged the opener.



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see also
Arsenal drawn against Barcelona
17 Dec 10 |  Europe
Redknapp relieved after Spurs win
12 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (agg 6-3)
06 Apr 10 |  Europe
Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona
31 Mar 10 |  Europe


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