Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti will be pleased to focus on European matters after seeing his team lose the Milan derby at the weekend.
Milan lead Group H with seven points from three matches and will qualify for the knockout stages with a win against Anderlecht, provided AEK don’t beat Lille. However, domestically, the results have been harder to come by.
“It’s not quite happening for us in Serie A,” Ancelotti admitted. “I’m not really sure why there is a difference, because we prepare for the matches in exactly the same way. The results in the league suggest we’re playing badly but we’re not.”
“Three points would put everything right for the time being, but it won’t be straightforward as Anderlecht are a good side,” he added.
Ancelotti, who will be without the suspended Daniele Bonera and the injured Giuseppe Favalli and Serginho, may recall French youngster Yoann Gourcuff to his midfield.
Anderlecht’’s prospects have been hit by the loss through injury of Nicolas Frutos and Nicolas Pareja.
“It is a shame that Frutos is out,” said Anderlecht Franky Vercauteren, “but we’ve been without him before and done well. I’d prefer to have him available as he gives the side so many more options, but life goes on and we have other good players in the side.”
The Belgian side have lost only once in Group H, to Milan, but a haul of just two points means they will be looking for at least a draw from this game.
“This is a hugely important match for us,” Vercauteren added. “It could be decisive in terms of who finishes where, so we need to try and pick up points. We are not scared of anyone. We have a healthy respect for Milan and are honoured to be playing in this tournament at San Siro, but we can get something from the game if we play as a solid unit.”
Dida; Cafu, Kakha Kaladze, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini; Gennaro Gattuso, Cristian Brocchi, Yoann Gourcuff; Kaká; Alberto Gilardino, Ricardo Oliveira.??
Daniel Zítka; Roland Juhász, Mark De Man, Olivier Deschacht; Yves Vanderhaeghe; Anthony Vanden Borre, Lucas Biglia, Bart Goor; Ahmed Hassan, Mbark Boussoufa; Mohamed Tchite.