Eight months ago Milan were hammered by Borussia Dortmund, but it is a very different looking Italian side that travels to Germany this time around.
The Serie A side have been something of a revelation this season, accumulating points and admirers in equal easure.
Borussia Dortmund coach Matthias Sammer acknowledges the recent renaissance at the San Siro.
“Milan’s latest results show that the team has grown,’ he said. ‘They are compact and solid and display a higher quality than in the UEFA Cup matches back in April.”
Sammer’s counterpart, Carlo Ancelotti, agreed.
“This season we have become more mature and every game is different,’ he said. ‘However, Rivaldo and Clarence Seedorf are still doubtful, so we will have to wait and see.”
Ancelotti also refuses to get carried away by the significance of tonight;s fixture.
“This match won’t be decisive,’ said the Milan coach. ‘We have another strong team still to face in Real Madrid. The qualification willÿnot be knownÿuntil the last game.”
Sammer meanwhile, aware of Milan’s array of attacking takkent, hinted at a containment exercise tonight.
“Do you know what the secret is in football?’ he asked. ‘That you avoid a goal against you. Just ask Milan.”
Rivaldo and Seedorf are doubtful for Milan, although both be involved tonight. Inzaghi and Shevchenko are certain to play up front, with Rui Costa just behind. Keeper Dida has recovered from a wrist injury and will start.
For Dortmund, there has no major injury worries and with Dede is back from suspension, Sammer can pick from a full-strength squad.