Milan v Deportivo La Coruna
Deportivo La Coruna will face a weakened Milan side at the San Siro as they chase the second qualifying spot from Group G.
The Spanish side currently lie second in the group with a two-point advantage over French side Lens. However, they need to beat group leaders Milan to ensure they make it through to the second phase with Lens facing the already-eliminated Bayern Munich.
Javier Irureta’s side will be without first choice central defenders Noureddine Naybet and Cesar, who sustained injuries in league action at the weekend, for their trip to the San Siro. The replacement pairingis expected to be Donato and Hector, normally a full back. D
Deportivo’s salvation could be Milan’s decision to give a break to almost their entire starting eleven. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has decided to rest top scorer Filippo Inzaghi, Rivaldo, Andrea Pirlo, and Rui Costa. Milan are also without midfielder GennaroGatuso and keeper Dida through injury and with Clarence Seedorf suspended, the Spanish side are likely to face a second string Milanese eleven.
Despite this, Deportivo will not be guaranteed an easy victory. The Milan second string may include, Maldini and Helveg in defence, ex-Cheslea star Dalla Bona, Ambrosiniand Serghino in midfield with Andrei Schevchenko and Jon Tomasson up-front.
All will be eager to impress. Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti warned: “We want to close with a victory, we want to play a good match with a fresh squad.”
Meanwhile, Lens travel to Munich with a full strength squad chasing victory. Influential midfielder Cyril Rool returns to the squad following a two game suspension in the domestic league.
Eliminated Bayern, with nothing to play for, are expected to field a reserve strength side.
Lizarazu, Kahn, Ballack, Jeremies, Elber, Kuffour and Sagnol will all be rested.
Coach Ottmar Hitzfield believes it is an opportunity for their squad players to shine.
“Now they can prove I can count on them,’ he said. ‘We want to win and say goodbye with decency”, he said.