AC Milan, Deportivo gear for Champions League tie

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

Holders A.C. Milan continue their title defence when they entertain Deportivo La Coruna in the first leg of their U.E.F.A. Champions League quarter-final.

AC Milan, Deportivo gear for Champions League tie

Milan:

Holders A.C. Milan continue their title defence when they entertain Deportivo La Coruna in the first leg of their U.E.F.A. Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday. Milan currently hold a 10-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings, while Deportivo sit in fourth in the Spanish Primera Liga, trailing leaders Real Madrid by eight points. But, if previous history is anything to go by, the game at the San Siro could go either way. A.C. Milan have welcomed Deportivo La Coruna to the San Siro in two of the previous three U.E.F.A. Champions League seasons, but the six-time European champions failed to beat the Galicians on either occasion. Carlo Ancelotti's side will look to redress the balance when his defending European champions face Deportivo in the first leg of their quarter-final meeting on Tuesday. Deportivo beat Juventus in the second round of this year's competition and they will be keen to add another Italian scalp to their collection. However, Ancelotti was positive that his side's form will be enough to see them through. Deportivo claimed a memorable win over Milan at the San Siro in the second group phase of last year's competition. The Spaniards also held on for a draw at Milan's imposing stadium in the 2001 competition. Deportivo coach Javier Irureta is keen to see his side advance to the semi-finals of the Champions' League for the first time, but understands that a defeat in Italy would not be a complete disaster and that home advantage counts for a lot in Europe. Deportivo ended a run of three consecutive Spanish Primera Liga defeats at the weekend with a one-nil win over lowly Murcia. Irureta rested key players Mauro Silva, Juan Carlos Valeron and Walter Pandiani for that game, knowing that they will have to be at their best to compete with one of the strongest teams in the world. The visitors will face a tough task in keeping Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi in check and Serie A's leading scorer Andriy Shevchenko could add more firepower for the Rossoneri, if he is picked ahead of Jon Dahl Tomasson. Deportivo will do well to take anything from the match, but as long as they don't lose by too great a margin on Tuesday night, they could clinch their first Champions' League semi-final place in the return leg at their Riazor Stadium on April 7th. (AP)



Topics : Football
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