Round of 16, second leg – Kick-off: 20-45 (CET)
First leg: Milan 2-3 Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson said Manchester United are not “very good at defending leads” and will therefore go on the attack as they look to protect a 3-2 advantage against Milan at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
David Beckham returns to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving United, although Ferguson is unsure whether the England midfielder will start tonight.
“In Milan it was a landmark victory for us,” said the United boss. “Perhaps we should have killed off the tie in the middle of the second half, but Seedorf’s goal near the end keeps the tie on a tightrope.
“Milan have to score which should make it very open. I don’t think we’re very good at defending leads, so we’ll be looking to play our normal game and our normal game includes attacking.
“Three years ago they beat us 3-0 in the second leg, but the preparations for that game were completely different. You can talk as much as you like, but my team have got to produce and they will produce.
“I think David [Beckham’s] strength has always been his crossing. I’m finding it difficult to see what team they’ll pick. If he plays, that [crossing] will be the threat, as well as his set-piece play of course.”
Ferguson has a familiar array of injury absentees, with John O’Shea, Ryan Giggs, Michael Owen, Anderson and Wes Brown all unavailable tonight. Midfielder Michael Carrick is suspended.
Meanwhile, Milan coach Leonardo believes that his side are still in with a chance.
“I think my confidence stems from what we’re doing, the way we’re playing,” said the Brazilian. “Even in the first leg there were many positive aspects to our play and it’s still an open tie. We were playing well before and have done since and I’ve got confidence in the performance we’ll put in.
“These occasions are always different to normal games. It is difficult to prepare when you have to go out there and get a specific result, just like it is when you’re holding the upper hand.
“I don’t think these games are so much decided by tactics as they are by the players’ attitude and approach on the day. We’ve got many choices in our squad, and lots of players used to playing in these big games.
“Clearly David Beckham is an important player for us and we will make our choices on a range of different criteria, but we know he has experience and that we can call on him if necessary.”
Milan will be without the injured Massimo Oddo and there are concerns over the fitness of Pato.