Milan coach Caro Ancelotti remains confident his team will overcome Arsenal in Tuesday’s Champions League second leg, despite losing influential midfielder Clarence Seedorf through injury.
The tie is delicately poised following the goalless draw at the Emirates a fortnight ago, and the loss of the Dutch international looks a significant blow for the beleaguered Milan chief.
Seedorf suffered a thigh injury in the 1-1 home draw with Lazio on Saturday evening and is struggling to be fit for what appears to be the defining match in Milan’s season.
“We’ll see over the next few days but I think it will be difficult to have him [Seedorf] back for Tuesday,” Ancelotti said. “He has a bad injury, it has caused him a lot of pain.”
Better news for Ancelotti came with the confirmation that Brazilian playmaker Kaka will be fit enough to play.
The 25-year-old has also reiterated his commitment to the Rossoneri by signing a new five-year contract with the European champions.
“I will remain a Rossonero for my whole career,” he said. “I want to become a symbol, a flag and one day the captain of this team.”
Ancelotti’s future at San Siro may well depend on success in Europe as Milan’s chances of winning Serie A have all but disappeared. They currently lie 18 points behind the leaders and city rivals Internazionale.
Ancelotti has told his players to cast caution aside for tomorrow’s game against Arsenal.
“We will go for it against Arsenal,” he said. “They have great qualities and have recovered some important players but we must not worry, we must only play our football.”
Ancelotti’s decision to focus on the Champions League has also been endorsed by his players.
“We will play a great game on Tuesday because we prepare in another way for Champions League games, above all mentally,” said the Georgian defender Kakha Kaladze.
“We will recover some important players for Tuesday and for this reason it will be a beautiful match,” added Oddo.