Fresh from their first ever Champions League group stage win, AEK Athens coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer wants his players is hoping his players aren’t overawed when they meet Group H leaders Milan.
“When you face a team like Milan, you have to be aware of the quality that they have,” said Serra Ferrer. “It is hard to explain their slow start in the Italian championship but if you look at their starting eleven, it is full of stars. I don’t know which Milan we will face, but I want to see a strong AEK.”
Serra Ferrer has a number of injury concerns with three three full-backs missing due to injuries – Nikolaos Georgeas, Martin Pautasso and Ifeanyi Udeze. Evangelos Moras is the likely deputy at right-back while Stavros Tziortziopoulos will fill in on the left.
Milan have been striggling domestically, but their form in Europe has been much more palatable to coach Carlo Ancelotti.
“Our main target every year is the Champions League, so perhaps that is a factor,” he said. “We want to repeat our final triumph of 1994 by winning again here in Athens.”
Ancelotti, who is without Kakha Kaladze, Serginho, Giuseppe Favalli and Gennaro Gattuso through injury and expects a tough game tonight.
“AEK are a very good team and this is the game that could decide whether we go to the next round so there is lot at stake,” he said. “I’m worried by the fact AEK have won all their points at home. They play with the same strength home and away, but the extra factor is their fans. I think both teams need the points so it should be an open game and also an entertaining one for the supporters.”
Stefano Sorrentino; Evangelos Moras, Bruno Cirillo, Traianos Dellas, Stavros Tziortziopoulos; Perparim Hetemaj, Akis Zikos, Emerson, Dániel T?zsér; Júlio César, Nikolaos Liberopoulos.
Dida; Cafu, Paolo Maldini, Dario Šimi?, Marek Jankulovski; Cristian Brocchi, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf; Kaká; Ricardo Oliveira, Filippo Inzaghi.