AC Milan v Arsenal: Match Preview

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AC Milan v Arsenal

UEFA Champions League last 16, first leg; San Siro; 15 Feb, 2012; 1945 KO.

Team News

Injuries will play a huge part in AC Milan's side to face the Gunners, with Alessandro Nesta, Mario Yepes, Pato, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mathieu Flamini all expected to miss out for the hosts.

Per Mertesacker is the latest absentee for Arsene Wenger, with the German international suffering an ankle injury at Sunderland on Saturday.

Kieran Gibbs has recovered from a groin injury and could play at left-back, whilst Alex Song has been tipped to fill-in at centre back if required.

Thierry Henry is poised to feature in his last game on loan from the New York Red Bulls, but Jack Wilshere, Andre Santos, Abou Diaby and Carl Jenkinson are all long-term absentees.

Wenger predicts 'test of the season'

Arsene Wenger admits his Arsenal side face a tough test at the San Siro when they face AC Milan tonight.

The Gunners produced a memorable 2-0 victory on the same ground four years, knocking out the Italian giants thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor.

A similar scoreline would be just the ticket for Wenger against the Serie 'A' side, but the Frenchman admits it's a 50:50 clash tonight, and will be the toughest test in the competition this season for his Emirates outfit.

"This Milan side are the kind of team you can dominate and still lose, they showed that in Barcelona. We must also be cautious because they have individual players who can make a difference, like Ibrahimovic, Seedorf and Robinho," said Wenger pre-match.


"You fear Robinho more in the Champions League than the league as he can do something special on a big occasion. For me, this is a real 50:50.

"Our attitude is very important in our first game. I believe they will start strong and it is important how much we win our fights in every area of the field.


"It will be the test of the season for us in the Champions League."

Club legend Thierry Henry is set to make his final appearance for the club, scoring three times in six games thus far during his second spell with the Gunners.

And Wenger believes the Frenchman's impact at the Emirates Stadium has been nothing but positive, and is hopeful one more 'special moment' can be generated from the club legend.

"Thierry can do it again, especially in a territory where he will be highly motivated. He started his international career in Italy so I believe that, if needed, he can help us," added the manager.


"He has produced a lot of special moments because he’s a special player - just the number of goals he has scored shows that.


"But he also has a strength based on desire and belief. When he came on at Sunderland the other day there was suddenly a drive there and a focus to just do it. He comes on with that certainty and says ‘OK, let’s deliver'."

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