Date:Wednesday November 26 2008
This is a match that would only have come along in a plum pre-season fixture, until this season that is.
Pompey face Milan for the first time in any way or form, we are here because of our FA cup win, Milan because they under-achieved last time out.
If memory serves, they owe us a match from the sale of Mark Hateley back in 1984, so they belatedly roll into Fratton park some 24 years later, although Paolo Maldini was probably fit last time round.
Tony Adams has stated that the league is our priority, every manager churns out this line, well any manager outside of the top four, but surely Tony Adams the campaigner of many an Arsenal charge on Europe won't send out a team to rollover, not against AC Milan surely?
Diarra and Defoe have both been given the news that neither needs surgery, Diarra is somewhere in France at the moment and will be out for a little while yet, Defoe has resumed jogging, Adams has stated that he has little chance of figuring tomorrow, but I'll bet he will at least make the bench.
If Defoe has no chance, then up front it will be Crouch and whoever fancies a game, Utaka did little to win over Pompey fans with another lacklustre and timid performance on Saturday, Sahar and Nugent aren't registered, and Kanu has played about half an hour all season.
Richard Hughes should feature against his boyhood heroes in midfield, he and Sean Davis will have great delight in proving they are not Premier league shire horses aginst Milans superstars.
Sol Campbell is still a doubt with his toe injury, but Younes Kaboul is proving a more than able understudy, in fact Sol will have a fight on his hands to get his place back!
Got to be 2 metre, he has more than a passing history with AC, not many players who will be present in Pompeys line-up have played in Europe, let alone in a final.
It's just a case of who Ancelloti decides to rest, will he risk former players of the year Ronaldinho and Kaka against lil ol' Pompey?
Maldini is definitely absent, but Pato may get a chance to show why he is so highly rated, and old campaigners like Seedorf will try and prove they haven't lost it.
Shevchenko is another with a point to prove against Premiership opposition.
The ex-Arsenal man proved to be a real quality performer last season, so much so that Milan came knocking, he is the man that I feel Arsenal miss most in their mis-firing season, time for Davis to prove he is the man to stop him.
Milan have won 12 out of 15 of their last few games, they have plenty of pedigree in the European World of football, but Pompey have history against italian sides, who can forget the mighty battles with Reggina in the Anglo-italian cup games?
Arthur Antunies Coimbra
Milan need 1 point to qualify to the next stage, Pompey just need to get some points, no doubt Milan will try to give an Italian masterclass in goaless draws, but can Pompey break the deadlock?
Blackburn on Sunday at the park
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Date:Wednesday November 26 2008
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