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San Siro in spotlight as hero returns

Published: Wednesday 20 October 2004, 17.40CET
Frank Rijkaard is back at AC Milan with FC Barcelona as the sides meet in a 1994 final repeat tonight.
Published: Wednesday 20 October 2004, 17.40CET

San Siro in spotlight as hero returns

Frank Rijkaard is back at AC Milan with FC Barcelona as the sides meet in a 1994 final repeat tonight.

Nostalgics, not to mention aficionados of today's game, will look eagerly to the Giuseppe Meazza stadium tonight where AC Milan and FC Barcelona will stage a repeat of the 1994 UEFA Champions League final.

Old favourite
Milan won that final in Athens 4-0 and another memory of former Rossoneri glories will come in the presence on the touchline of Frank Rijkaard, a European Champion Clubs' Cup winner with the club in 1989 and 1990, who returns as coach of Barcelona.

'Pleasure to return'
"It is always a great pleasure to return to Milan," said Rijkaard, who will doubtless gain more pleasure should Barcelona claim a third successive win in Group F. While Milan and Barcelona head the section with maximum points, Celtic FC travel to Ukraine to play FC Shakhtar Donetsk, as both clubs seek their first points of the campaign.

Inter mission
With Milan hosting Spanish opposition, their neighours FC Internazionale Milano have made the opposite journey, to Spain's Mediterranean coast to face Valencia CF. Inter have taken two wins from two matches in Group G and another victory would virtually guarantee their progress to the knockout stage.

Anderlecht must win
In the same section, RSC Anderlecht must win at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium where Werder Bremen are the visitors. With no points to date, a further setback would effectively end the hopes of Hugo Broos's team.

Under pressure
Defending European champions FC Porto, with new coach Victor Fernández, will be keen to pick up maximum points against fourth-placed Paris Saint-Germain FC in Group H. Already five points behind leaders Chelsea FC, Porto cannot afford to slip up again against the struggling Parisians. Chelsea themselves are at home to PFC CSKA Moskva, and will hope to bounce back from their first defeat under José Mourinho at the weekend.

Close in Group E
Finally, first meets fourth in a congested-looking Group E where Rosenborg BK, with just one point, will be hoping to kick-start their campaign against PSV Eindhoven. Second-placed PSV lead Rosenborg by just two points in a group whose clubs' fortunes could be distinctly different by the close of play tonight.

'Best in Europe'
Panathinaikos FC coach Zdenek Scasny has called Arsenal FC "the best team in Europe" ahead of the leaders' visit to Athens but just one point separates the sides and a defeat for Arsenal could even send them to the foot of the group.

Last updated: 20/10/04 21.35CET

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