Group C – Kick-off 19:45 (BST)
Milan coach Leonardo has called on his side “to keep moving forward” as they look to build on their fine recent run with the victory over FC Zurich that could secure them top spot in Champions League Group C.
The in-form Rossoneri would miss out on a place in the knockout phase should they drop points and section leaders Real Madrid lose at Marseille, but Leonardo believes his side are up to the challenge.
“We are a mature team that has played important games before,” he said.
Zurich pulled off the shock of the group stages when they won at San Siro on Matchday 2 and their coach Bernard Challandes expects another strong performance tonight, even if their European campaign is coming to an end.
“We need to play well and then we can say the Champions League was a good experience, even if we didn’t qualify,” said Challandes. “We can’t go through, but that’s not the point. We are playing against giants.
A game against Milan, with or without a chance of qualifying, remains a game against Ronaldinho and many world champions. If a player isn’t motivated for a game like that, he should do something else.
“We have to find the strength within ourselves, otherwise it is going to be a very tough game. Milan are very strong and they impressed against Sampdoria, who didn’t touch the ball on Saturday. Add to this the fact they must win.
“After the draw, we could not reasonably have had qualification as our goal. Not qualifying is normal, but we have to be proud of our performances.”
Leonardo, meanwhile, has told his players to ignore events elsewhere and to concentrate on their own performance.
“It’s obviously going to be very difficult,” said the Brazilian. “We only have to depend on ourselves, so we have to think about our game. We have done some positive things recently. We don’t care what happens in the other game: we want to write our own positive story.
” I have seen Zürich’s recent results, but I don’t pay attention to them. We know what they are capable of. They will be motivated and we will have to keep our concentration.
We are a mature team that has played important games before and we have to keep moving forward. First place depends on the other match, which is why we only need to think about ours. The objective is to win, which would take us through.
“I am optimistic about Ronaldinho: he has had some muscular problems, but I am confident he will play.”