Deportivo v Milan 20:45
Arguably the tie of the night sees Deportivo La Coruna, conquerors of Bayern Munich in last week’s opener, entertain resurgent Milan at the Riazor.
Last week’s 3-2 win for Depor ended Bayern Munich’s 32-match unbeaten home run in the tournament with a stunning.
Following that stunning success came Saturday’s 2-0 win over Real Valladolid, with all five Deportivo goals in those games came from the same man – Dutch international Roy Makaay.
Milan’s big mmoney defensive signning Alessandro Nesta pinpoints Makaay as the chief threat to his team’s hopes.
“We must watch out for him,” said Nesta.
“Players like him and (Diego) Tristan are strong and experienced. I often watch Spanish football and Deportivo are a really tough side at their place.”
Milan have their own in-form stiker at tghe moment in the form of Filippo Inzaghi, who has beenn prolific form all season, including a brace against LLens last week.
Milan will be boosted by the absence of Deportivo’s creative midfielder Juan Valeron, who faces two months onthe sidelines after fracturing his fibia against Valladolid.
Lionel Scaloni and Aldo Duscher are available for selection aftermissing the Bayern match through suspension. But Tristan is expected to replace Valeron, having recovered from an ankle problem. First choice keeper, Molina, is still absent and Juanmi will continue to deputize between the sticks
Milan are still without injured striker Andriy Shevchenko but former Riazor player Rivaldo will start. Meanwhile, Serginho and Massimo Ambrosini are expected to be replaced by Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso. Thomas Helveg and Roque Jr. are all still injured. But, goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is reportedly fit and could return to the starting line-up despite the impressive performances of his deputy Dida.
Deportivo: Juanmi Garc¡a; Berenguel, Donato Gama, Naybet, Romero; V¡ctor S nchez, Sergio Gonz lez, Mauro Silva, Fran Gonz lez; Tristan, Makaay
Milan: Abbiati; Simic, Nesta, Maldini, Kaladze; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Rui Costa, Inzaghi, Rivaldo
Lens v Bayern 20:45
After last week’s shattering home defeat to Deportivo La Coruna, Bayern Munich know victory is imperative when they meet Lens, the other losing Group G side on Matchday One, at the F‚lix-Bolleart stadium tonight.
The 3-2 home loss to Deportivo has left Bayern, one of the pre-tournament favourites, in a precarious position.
Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld admitted: “We only have crunch games in the Champions League now.”
Michael Ballack, so inspirational in the Champions League for Bayer 04 Leverkusen last season, has promised an attacking showing from the four-times European champions.
“We have precisely no points, so we have to win at all costs,” Ballack said.
Bayern travel to Lens with the same squad that comfortably beat Energie Cottbus on Saturday with the addition of Claudio Pizarro, who will undergo a late fitness test after having injured himself against Depor. Definitely missing, will be Bixente Lizarazu, the injury-prone Mehmet Scholl as well as the long-term casualties Roque Santa Cruz and Sebastian Deisler.
Lens meanwhile are enduring something of a mini-crisis at the moment. Three successive defeats including last week’s 2-1 loss to Milan, has dented confidence at the club.
However, coach Joel Muller believes Lens are playing well despite their porr sequence of results.
“There is a lack of luck”,he said. “Against Bayern we need to show the same spirit and heart.”
Muller may well be without defender Adama Coulibaly with a hamstring strain, although the rest of the squad is fit.
Muller, who is expected to ask playmaker St‚phane Pedron to suppply the fronnt two of John Utaka, Daniel Moreira and Degui Bakar.
Like Bayern anything less than a victory and Lens’ hopes of reaching the next stafe will have been virtually extinguished.
: Kahn – Sagnol, R. Kovac, Linke, Tarnat – Salihamidzic, Jeremies, Ballack, Ze Roberto – Elber, Zickler