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Wednesday’s Field of Play: Champions Leagues and Copa Lib

AC Milan's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahi

AC Milan’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts during a press conference the eve of his team’s Champions League quarter-finals football match AC Milan vs FC Barcelona on March 27, 2012 at the AC Milan’s training center in Carnago. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

With semis of CONCACAF’s Champions League starting, Wednesday is another ridiculously packed day of international competition. The marquee event kicks off the day in Milan, though by day’s end, most MLS fans will be focused on BMO Field.

UEFA Champions League

  • Given how close Milan played them in group stage, Barcelona can’t take anything for granted as they continue their title defense. Milan, however, will be missing Thiago Silva, the team’s best defender having suffered a thigh injury on Saturday against Roma. With midfield anchor Mark van Bommel suspended, it’s difficult to see the Rossoneri replicating group stage’s relative success. (Match kicks off 2:45 p.m. ET)
  • The day’s other match is the quarterfinal that’s gotten the least attention: Marseille hosting Bayern Munich. Bayern’s a big enough name, but matched against a team that sits ninth in Ligue 1, it’s difficult to put a dramatic spin on this one. OM is winless in their last eight league matches and will be without their best defender (Souleymane Diawara) and goalkeeper (Steve Mandanda), both suspended. Oh, and their leading goal scorer, Loic Remy, will be a match-time decision. (2:45 p.m. ET)

Copa Libertadores

  • Chivas is in Uruguay to face Defensor Sporting, the winner set to go second in Group 7. When the teams met in Mexico two weeks ago, Carlos Fierro’s 11th minute goal gave Guadalajara their only win of the tournament. (6:45 p.m. ET)
  • In an all-Chile battle, Union Española visits Universidad Catholica. For Catholica, it’s been a disappointing tournament, the club having drawn all three of their matches to date. They’ll need a win over the group-leading Reds, as another draw would leave them three points behind second-place Bolívar with only two group matches left. (6:45 p.m. ET)
  • And finally, Ronaldinho and Flamengo travel to Paraguay to face an Olimpia team that came back from three goals down to earn a draw two weeks ago in Rio. The sides come into the match trailing group-leading Lanus, with Flamengo set to go first if they can take three points. (9:00 p.m. ET)

CONCACAF Champions League

  • How long are the odds for Toronto? We’ve seen them struggle in MLS after their Champions League upset of LA Galaxy. Now they face one of Mexico’s strongest, Santos Laguna, without their best defender (Torsten Frings), goalkeeper (Sebastien Frei), while there are continued fitness concerns surrounding their best goal scorer (Danny Koevermans). So ... yeah - the odds are long. (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • In the late match, defending champions Monterrey host Apertura champions Pumas, a team that sits 14th in the Mexican Primera. Monterrey, on the other hand, sit a strong fourth and have recently gone on a goal-scoring tear. In their last five Primera matches, the Rayados have tallied 16 goals, 10 coming from the Aldo De Nigris, Humberto Suazo, Cesar Delgado trio. (10:00 p.m. ET)