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Spurs Odyssey Preview - AC Milan v Spurs - 15.02.11

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Spurs record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
 
U.E.F.A Champions League
 
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   2   2  24 -14
 
European Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13
 
(Semi-Finalists 1962)
 
European Cup Winners Cup
 
P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34
 
(Winners 1963)
 
UEFA Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
85 51  20  15  182-71 
 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
The club logo of AC Milan
 
Total
P    W   D   L   F - A
134 79  28  27  290-129

Champions League Group A
 
		   P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  PTS
1.Spurs            6  3  2  1 18-11  7  11
2.Inter Milan      6  3  1  2 12-11  1  10
3.Fc Twente        6  1  3  2  9-11 -2   6
4.SV Werder Bremen 6  1  2  3  6-12 -6   5 

Champions League Group G

		   P  W  D  L  F-A  GD   PTS

1. Real Madrid     6  5  1  0 15-2  13   16
2. AC Milan        6  2  2  2  7-7   0    8
3. Ajax            6  2  1  3  6-10 -4    7
4. Auxerre         6  1  0  5  3-12 -9    3

AC Milan's Group G results

AC Milan    2-0   Auxerre
Ibrahimovic (2)
Ajax        1-1   AC Milan
Ibrahimovic
Real Madrid 2-0   AC Milan
AC Milan    2-2   Real Madrid
Inzaghi (2)
Auxerre     0-2   AC Milan
Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho
AC Milan    0-2   Ajax

AC Milan's last 6 league games

AC Milan    3-0   Bari
Ibrahimovic, Merkel, Robinho
AC Milan    2-0   Cesena
Own goal, Ibrahimovic
Catania     0-2   AC Milan 
Robinho, Ibrahimovic
AC Milan    0-0   Lazio
Genoa       1-1   AC Milan 
Pato
AC Milan    4-0   Parma
Seedorf, Cassano, Robinho (2)

Brace yourselves, Spurs!

I would say that this could be a "belt and braces" job for Spurs, but according to the information released by THFC this week, we will not be allowed to wear belts going into the San Siro tomorrow! That could be mightily embarrassing to a lot of people if enforced rigidly by the local police. When we went there for the Inter game in October, all I was asked was "Where's the lighter", so I shouldn't worry too much about losing your belt and your trousers as a result!

Spurs played against AC Milan in the 1972 UEFA Cup semi-final. Steve Perryman had scored both goals to give us a famous home win in the first leg, and we held on to a draw in the away game, giving us a path to the Final against Wolves. Carlo Cudicini's father played in goal for A.C Milan's team against us!

This probably was not the best of the potential draws we could have had, having qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League by winning Group A in December. AC Milan came second in their group, but that was second to the mighty Real Madrid, who beat all-comers in the group, except when drawing at the San Siro the day after we beat Inter in November.

AC Milan (the "AC" stands for "Associazone Calcio") are currently top of Serie A, three points ahead of Napoli - their nerest rivals - and 8 points ahead of Inter, who will be hosting Bayern Munich next week at the shared stadium.

AC Milan are currently renowned as an "old" team, with players such as the 37 year old Inzaghi, 34 year old Claence Seedorf, and 33 year old Gattuso in their squad. The club's most prolific goal scorers of Ibrahimovic, Robinho (formerly of Man City) and Alexandre Pato do not fall into the category of veterans. The Swedish Ibrahimovic is actually on loan from Barcelona but has scored 19 goals in all competitions for Milan so far this season. Pato is a 21 year old Brazilian, happy on either flank, who has scored 45 league goals in 92 league games for Milan over the last 4 seasons, and 11 in all games so far this season. Robinho has 10 in all games to his name. Clearly, our opponents will be very attractive going forward.

AC Milan signed some fresh blood in the January window, including Van Bommel, Cassano and Emanuelson, but none of these will be eligible for Champions League football. 31 year old Andrea Pirlo is injured, and former Spurs midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng (signed by and immediately loaned out to AC Milan by Genoa) has also been out injured for two months.

How Spurs would have benefited from the pace of Gareth Bale on the wing in the stadium where he scored that marvellous hat-trick in October! Unfortunately, I understand that Gareth did not travel with the squad, although both Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart did get on the plane. Realistically, I suspect that Van der Vaart will be the only starter of these three, and I'd bet on him playing behind Peter Crouch, with a midfield of Lennon, Palacios, Sandro and either Pienaar or Kranjcar. Jenas is suspended due to bookings received in the Group stage.

The only game that Milan have lost since the Champions League defeat at home to Ajax in December was before Christmas against Roma. They are on a run of 10 games unbeaten at the moment. There is no question this will be a tough game, with a big crowd behind the home side. Spurs will need to be strong and composed, and I for one would be very, very happy to come back on level terms.

Bearing in mind that AC Milan's owner is the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, any post match party would be worth attending!

I arrive back on Wednesday lunchtime, so the usual post-match survey and report will be delayed.

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