Thu01182018

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Barcelona's Andrés Iniesta to miss Champions League meeting with Milan

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Barcelona's playmaker Andrés Iniesta has a bruised thigh and will miss the Champions League Group H match at Milan on Wednesday.

Iniesta sustained the injury in Barcelona's 4-0 La Liga win against Real Zaragoza on Saturday and is being rested as a precaution, Barça said on their website.

He joins the suspended full‑back Daniel Alves and fellow casualties Adriano Correia and Ibrahim Afellay on the sidelines.

However there was better news for the coach Pep Guardiola concerning the forward Pedro, who has recovered from an ankle problem and is in the squad.

The group leaders Barça and second-placed Milan qualified for the knockout round with two games to spare and a win for the Spanish club at San Siro will secure them top spot and a potentially easier passage in the last 16.

Barcelona have 10 points from four matches and Milan eight.

The Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says there will be nothing personal about the match against Barcelona, the club he left in acrimonious circumstances 18 months ago. The Sweden striker missed the 2-2 draw at Camp Nou and will now have to make do with a match that is reduced to a virtual friendly after both sides qualified in the previous round.

"I was disappointed but for me playing against a former team is nothing personal," he told the Uefa website. "Of course it's emotional, a big game, but in the end it's like any other game. There's no need to over-hype it."

Ibrahimovic fell out with Guardiola when he was offloaded at the end of the 2009‑10 season, calling him "the philosopher who has shattered my dream".

The 30-year-old striker added: "Even when I left the team, I knew I'd left the best team in the world. But, for me and all the other parties involved, I think the best solution was to leave the club. Given the results for both sides, it was the best solution.

"I think Milan are the biggest club I have ever played with," said Ibrahimovic, who won three Italian titles with their arch-rivals Internazionale before his spell with Barcelona. "I felt at home from my first day here – they welcomed me with open arms. I think this game is more about prestige. It's good to come first, but sometimes it's good to come second; both can be positive or negative."

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