Tuesday February 14 2012
Milan boss looks to Ibra

Massimiliano Allegri is expecting Zlatan Ibrahimovic to make an impact in the Champions League tie against Arsenal.

Ibra is currently serving a three-match Serie A ban, but he will be available to face the Premiership giants tomorrow.

“Ibra never gives up, not even in training,” the tactician stated on Tuesday afternoon as the Swede looks to lift the European Cup for the first time.

“The Champions League is not an obsession for him though. He’s serene, he’s in form, he’s in good physical and mental shape. He’ll have a great game tomorrow.”

The Rossoneri have been struggling with injuries recently, but Allegri hopes to recover a few big names players for the first leg tie.

“We’ve only had two training sessions since the last game. I still need to see who I’ll have and who will be missing.

“It is important to have Kevin Prince Boateng, Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Nesta and Christian Abbiati back, but it will be hard to see Boateng and Pato from the start.”

Milan went out at this stage to Tottenham last season, but the former Cagliari boss is in confident mood.

“I’m optimistic, very optimistic,” he declared. “We gave too much space to Spurs last season. Not conceding at home will be an advantage.

“We want to do better in the Champions League than we did last year, but that Tottenham tie shouldn’t affect us.

“We know about the strength of Arsenal, they play excellent football, they are an excellent collective with excellent individuals.

“We’ll have to be very alert in defence, but this is not just one game. This will be played over 180 minutes.”

Teenager Stephan El Shaarawy has proved himself in recent weeks and there is a chance that he could make his Champions League debut.

“Stephan is doing really well. He’s growing, but he is just 19 and he has to be allowed to mature even if he has great quality and an eye for goal.”

Milan possible XI: Abbiati (Amelia); Abate, Nesta (Mexes), Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Seedorf (Boateng); Ibrahimovic, Robinho

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