7. TV PREVIEW: Milan needs to lift game against Bayern

TUESDAY: UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals
AC MILAN-BAYERN MUNICH (TV: ESPN Deportes, live, 2:30 pm)

Last year, AC Milan thoroughly dominated Bayern Munich, winning 4-1, at the San Siro and going through to the quarterfinals, 5-2, on aggregate when it faced the German club in the UEFA Champions League.

This year, Milan has rarely played well. It fell to sixth place in Serie A with its 1-1 tie against Roma on Saturday and needed an overtime goal to dispose of Scottish club Celtic in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

Milan captain Paolo Maldini says improvement is needed if the Rossoneri, who host Bayern Tuesday in the first leg of the quarterfinals, are to progress to the final four of the Champions League for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

"There are two faces to Milan's season," says the 38-year-old defender. "We're out of the championship, but remain strong contenders in the Champions League. This is the moment we have to show our best. We have to lift our game to a higher level than we've done so far."

Bayern has lost all four previous European clashes at Milan and will be without goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and midfielder Mark van Bommel, who are suspended. Kahn's replacement, Michael Rensing, has made only one other Champions League appearance -- against Milan in the 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena last season.

AC Milan: 1-Dida; 44-Oddo, 13-Nesta, 3-Maldini, 18-Jankulovski; 8-Gattuso, 21-Pirlo, 23-Ambrosini, 10-Seedorf; 22-Kaka; 11-Gilardino.
Bayern Munich: 22-Rensing; 2-Sagnol, 3-Lucio, 5-van Buyten, 21-Lahm; 20-Salihamidzic, 39-Ottl, 23-Hargreaves, 31-Schweinsteiger; 10-Makaay, 11-Podolski.
Referee: Yuri Baskakov (Russia).
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