AC Milan heads into its Champions League match
against Celtic with mounting injury concerns, including only one fit striker.
Alberto Gilardino, the club's top scorer, is doubtful for Wednesday's match at
Celtic Park with a knee injury.
Ronaldo, who joined the club last month and scored two goals on his club debut
on Saturday, is ineligible as he's already represented Real Madrid in the
Champions League this season.
With striker Filippo Inzaghi also out injured, and Marco Borriello suspended
after a positive drugs test, Ricardo Oliveira could be Milan's only fit option
Attacking midfielder Clarence Seedorf is also doubtful, with a leg complaint.
First-choice goalkeeper Dida is still injured, and AC Milan coach Carlo
Ancelotti said Zeljko Kalac would start in goal.
"It's just like I always say, we will play with eleven regardless," Ancelotti
said. "Whoever plays will certainly give their all."
AC Milan started the season with an eight-point penalty from the Italian match
fixing scandal. It's now in sixth place -- 30 points off leader Inter Milan --
and eager to prove itself after an unsettled start to the Italian season.
"I believe that the Champions League can give our side the opportunity to
demonstrate where our true strength lies," Ancelotti said.
"Celtic are a good team and they will use the home field to their advantage and
do everything they can to play the game at their rhythm."
This is Celtic's first appearance in the Champions League knockout round and the
club plays knowing that it is already close to retaining its Scottish title.
After a 2-1 win over Aberdeen on Saturday, Celtic needs to win four of its
remaining 10 matches.
It will be much harder to emulate the Celtic team of 1967 which became the first
British team to win the European Cup.
"We know we are underdogs but if you operate like a team you have a good chance,
especially with the boost we will get from our fans," striker Jan Vennegoor of
Vennegoor of Hesselink said the match brought back memories of the 2005
Champions League season, when he was playing for PSV Eindhoven. The Dutch club
lost to AC Milan in the semifinals on away goals after overturning a 2-0
"The atmosphere at Celtic Park is electric on European nights and it gives the
players a great lift," he said. "If we can play together as a team, we can
achieve big things."
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan urged his side not to be overawed.
"The players have worked extremely hard this season and they deserve this
occasion. They deserve the right to play against a top, top side like AC Milan,"
Strachan said. "We need enthusiasm, pace, commonsense and we must not show any