|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Inzaghi's return should boost AC Milan
May 01, 2007 09:53 IST
Carlo Ancelotti has urged AC Milan to produce a repeat of their quarter-final victory against Bayern Munich when they host Manchester United in the return leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
Trailing 3-2 after the first leg of the tie, Milan need to beat the Premier League leaders at the San Siro stadium to reach the 10th European Cup final of their history.
Milan showed an ability to overturn an unpromising first-leg result in the last eight, when they followed up a 2-2 draw at home with an impressive 2-0 win in Munich.
"It's all about our mentality. When we were in Munich I was thinking about the semi-final, and now I'm thinking about the final because that's what we are aiming for," Milan coach Ancelotti was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"You always have to raise the barrier a little. If you're playing a semi-final the best way to go forward is to think about the next objective.
"As far as United are concerned, I'm not thinking about the errors we need to avoid, but about the things we need to do. I see the match in a positive light."
The match is likely to see the return of Filippo Inzaghi to the starting line-up. The 33-year-old striker missed the first leg due to injury, but has a knack of scoring in crucial games as he showed by getting Milan's second goal in Munich.
Inzaghi's return strengthens a team that is enjoying its best run of form this season and rose to third in Serie A on Saturday by beating Torino 1-0.
Midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, who limped off with a sore foot early in the second half at Old Trafford, is also expected to start, and Ancelotti has not given up hope that team captain Paolo Maldini -- aiming to reach the eighth European Cup final of his career -- can play through the pain of a swollen knee.
"It will take a great Milan performance to beat United, but we're ready," said Inzaghi.
United received a huge boost at the weekend when they moved closer to wresting the Premier League title away from Chelsea after they came from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at Everton.
Manager Alex Ferguson said his side would need to produce their best away performance in Europe this season to thwart Milan.
"We have to step up a gear," he told the club's web site (www.manutd.com).
"There's a chance that we will concede over there, so we have to score. And we will be going over there with an attitude to score."
Brazilian Kaka gave United's patched-up defence a torrid time at Old Trafford but the Premier League leaders are set to welcome back England central defender Rio Ferdinand.
AC Milan: 1-Dida; 44-Massimo Oddo, 13-Alessandro Nesta, 3-Paolo Maldini, 18-Marek Jankulovski; 8-Gennaro Gattuso, 21-Andrea Pirlo, 23-Massimo Ambrosini; 10-Clarence Seedorf; 22-Kaka, 9-Filippo Inzaghi.
Manchester United: 1-Edwin van der Sar; 22-John O'Shea, 6-Wes Brown, 4-Gabriel Heinze, 5-Rio Ferdinand; 24-Darren Fletcher, 16-Michael Carrick, 18-Paul Scholes; 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 8-Wayne Rooney, 11-Ryan Giggs.
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
UEFA Champions League 2006-07: The Complete Coverage