|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Arsenal seek quick Euro tonic against holders Milan
February 20, 2008 10:05 IST
Holders Milan could face an Arsenal backlash on Wednesday when they play the English league leaders at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
The Gunners, five points clear at the top of the Premier League, were trounced 4-0 at Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday but have the perfect opportunity to get back on track against the experienced campaigners from northern Italy [Images].
"Sometimes you forget how good you are when you have a big disappointment," manager Arsene Wenger told the club's Web site (www.arsenal.com) on Tuesday.
"What is most important, is to have big targets in front of you. This is such a big game, such a massive task, that we can forget about Saturday."
Milan's Serie A title hopes are long gone but the Champions League always inspires the Rossoneri and they will have Brazilian striker Kaka [Images] back from injury as they try and stay on course for an eighth European crown.
However, striker Ronaldo [Images] is ruled out for nine months with a serious knee injury and they may have to go with third-choice keeper Valerio Fiori, as Dida and Zeljko Kalac are struggling with injuries.
Nevertheless Paolo Maldini, 39, who is retiring at the end of the season, is relishing the tie.
"Arsenal await us but we are the champions. We will perhaps have some players back and the atmosphere will definitely be fantastic," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Two other British sides are in action on Wednesday. Manchester United travel to French champions Olympique Lyon where Ryan Giggs is expected to make his 100th appearance in the competition while the atmosphere in Glasgow will be electric as Celtic host Barcelona.
Fenerbahce and Sevilla will be making their first ventures into the first knockout round when they meet in snowy Istanbul.
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage