Lille coach Claude Puel has encouraged his players side set aside their domestic travails as they prepare to face Milan in Tuesday’s Group H encounter.
The French outfit take on the Serie A side having lost two straight league matches for the first time since 2003-04, and on the back of a 4-1 hammering to reigning champions Lyon on Saturday.
“There’s no point dwelling on what happened,” said Puel. “Tuesday will be a different competition, a different level and a different universe. This time I want my team to show me what they can really do.”
“Of course Milan are in a league of their own with great individual talents, but we beat Manchester United last year and that shows we can match even the best sides in Europe.”
Skipper Grégory Tafforeau and goalkeeper Tony Sylva are expected to return from injury.
Lille will be playing at neighbours Lens home ground while their own stadium undergoes reconstruction. It was on this ground that Milan suffered an unexpected 2-1 defeat to Lens in 2002-03.
“We certainly didn’t get the result we wanted last time, and I don’t think playing here gives us any advantage,” said Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti.
“We’re still going to have to be at our best to win this game because Lille are in good shape at the moment and have very quick, technical players.”
“Along with Internazionale we’ve been the best team in Italy so far and we’re playing well on all fronts,” said Ancelotti.
Tonight Milan will be without Paolo Maldini, who is suffering from a thigh injury, which should mean Kakha Kaladze partnering Alessandro Nesta at the back.
Tony Sylva; Matthieu Chalmé, Nicolas Plestan, Rafael Schmitz, Grégory Tafforeau; Yohan Cabaye, Jean Makoun; Kader Keita, Mathieu Bodmer, Michel Bastos; Peter Odemwingie.?
Dida; Cafu, Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladze, Marek Jankulovski; Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf; Kaká; Filippo Inzaghi, Alberto Gilardino.