As Milan prepare to get their Champions League campaign underway against AEK Athens, coach Carlo Ancelotti said of this season’s competition: “It’s our main objective.”.
Only Real Madrid have won more European Cups than Milan and under Ancelotti, Milan have reached the final twice, winning in 2003, and the semi-finals and quarter-finals on one further occasion each.
However, Ancelotti is taking nothing for granted.
“You’re on dangerous ground if you think things will be easy,” said Ancelotti.
“AEK may be little-known but it is the lesser-known sides that can spring surprises. We need to respect them the same way we do the bigger clubs. What’s more, having played only one league match this season some clubs are fitter than us. They will be up for the fight and so must we be.”
Ricardo Oliveira, a scorer in Sunday’s game against Lazio, could deputise for Alberto Gilardino who has a stomach strain.
AEK are still seeking their first Champions League victory after 18 games in the tournament. Nonetheless, the Greek side will take the field with a positive attitude, according to coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer.
“My players must have only one thing in mind and that’s winning,” he said. “Things can always change during the course of a match and we’re playing a good side.”
Serra Ferrer is without Ifeanyi Udeze who has a knee injury but refuses to be pessimistic about his side’s prospects tonight.
“My hand is forced with the suspension to Nikolaos Georgeas and the Udeze injury but we’re still going to give it our best shot,” he added.
“I wouldn’t say we have nothing to lose because there is always something to play for, but we certainly aren’t under the same pressure as Milan and there is no reason why we shouldn’t give them a run for their money.”
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