TV PREVIEW WEDNESDAY: UEFA Champions League Semifinal, 2nd Leg AC MILAN-MAN. UNITED (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 2:30 pm ET, live)
Manchester United looks to set up the first all-English final in the UEFA Champions League
when it faces AC Milan Wednesday in the second leg of the semifinals at the San Siro.
United carries a 3-2 lead into the game and is riding high after a 4-2 comeback win over Everton on
Saturday that all but clinched the English Premier League title.
For the first half of last Tuesday's first leg at Old Trafford, Milan and Kaka
particular gave the United defense fits, and Sir Alex Ferguson
again must again field a patchwork backline.
Outside backs Gary Neville
(ankle injury) and Frenchman Patrice Evra
(suspension) are unavailable, while first-choice central defenders Rio Ferdinand
(groin) and Serb Nemanja Vidic
(collarbone) have traveled to Milan but are not fully fit.
best chance may be to take the game to Milan, which will probably be without ailing captain Paolo Maldini
. Two years ago, United traveled to Milan for the
first knockout round and lost, 1-0, but Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti
says the English club has improved considerably since then.
improved a lot in attack," he said. "[Wayne] Rooney
and Cristiano Ronaldo
are more experienced, more effective."
Only twice have clubs from the same country met in the Champions League final. Real Madrid beat Valencia, 3-0, in an all-Spanish final in
2000. Milan edged Italian rival Juventus in a shootout three years later. Probable lineups: AC
1-Dida, 44-Oddo, 13-Nesta, 4-Kaladze, 18-Jankulovski, 8-Gattuso, 21-Pirlo, 23-Ambrosini; 10-Seedorf, 22-Kaka, 9-Inzaghi. Manchester United:
1-van der Sar, 22-O'Shea, 6-Brown, 4-Heinze, 5-Ferdinand, 24-Fletcher, 16-Carrick, 18-Scholes, 7-Ronaldo, 8-Rooney, 11-Giggs Referee:
Frank De Bleeckere