AC Milan begins the defense of its UEFA Champions League title at home on Tuesday against Portuguese club Benfica.
isn't in the Benfica traveling party to San Siro, where Milan will look to regain its form after a lackluster start to the 2007-08 season (one win and two ties in Serie A).
Milan should be close to full strength for the game. Ronaldo
remains sidelined with a thigh injury, while midfield ace Andrea
is questionable with a calf injury.
Benfica suffered a blow over the weekend when veteran midfielder Armando Petit
went down with a
knee injury that will keep him out of action for six weeks. Also out are defenders Luisao
(knee), Andre Luiz
and Marc Zoro
The game marks the return of 34-year-old Rui Costa
to San Siro, where he played
for six seasons before signing with Benfica in 2006. The veteran playmaker was instrumental in Benfica's qualification for the group stage of the 2007-08 competition.
"He's a player
who despite his age still manages to play at this level," said an admiring Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti
. "I have a lot of respect for him and his
professionalism proven by his great performances with Benfica.'' PROBABLE LINEUPS: AC Milan --
Massimo Oddo, Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladze, Marek Jankulovski; Massimo Ambrosini, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf; Kaka, Filippo Inzaghi. Benfica --
Quim; Luis Filipe, Miguel Vitor, Edcarlos, Leo; Konstantinos Katsouranis, Rui Costa, Maxi Pereira, Cristian Rodriguez; Angel Di Maria, Nuno Gomes. Referee:
Mike Riley (England)