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AC Milan will go into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie with Celtic FC as clear favourites and not simply for the reason they left Glasgow with a goalless draw on 20 February. UEFA confirmed on Friday that there would be an official capacity of 67,500 for the match. Safety work has been carried out to meet new stadium guidelines in Italy, following security concerns prompted by spectator incidents.
• You have to go back to 2001/02 for the last time six-times winners Milan failed to reach the last eight of the UEFA Champions League and Celtic's away record in the competition only magnifies the size of the visitors' task at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The Scottish champions, competing at this stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time, have lost eleven of their 12 previous matches on the road, including all three in the group stage this term.
• Celtic will also be mindful that Milan drew away (1-1) at FC Bayern München at this stage last season before cruising to a 4-1 home victory, and 5-1 success on aggregate.
• While keeping four clean sheets at home in this season's UEFA Champions League, Celtic conceded three goals in each of their Group F away reverses. After beginning their campaign with a 3-2 loss at Manchester United FC they also went down to SL Benfica (0-3) and FC København (1-3).
• Milan won their opening two Group H home fixtures comfortably, overcoming AEK Athens FC 3-0 and RSC Anderlecht 4-1. By the time of their 2-0 loss to LOSC Lille Métropole on Matchday 6, they had already secured their last 16 place.
• Celtic visited Milan for the first time in 1968/69 and came away with a goalless draw from the first leg of their European Cup quarter-final tie. However, Piero Prati's lone strike at Celtic Park sent the Rossoneri through and they went on to lift the trophy.
• Milan beat Celtic 3-1 when the sides met for the second and most recent time at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in the group stage of the 2004/05 competition. The Scottish team very nearly earned a draw as Stanislav Varga equalised Andriy Shevchenko's first-half opener with 16 minutes remaining. However, the Rossoneri struck twice in the closing moments through Filippo Inzaghi (89 minutes) and Andrea Pirlo (90).
• The two starting lineups that September 2004 night were:
Milan – Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Maldini, Pancaro; Gattuso, Pirlo, Kaká, Seedorf; Shevchenko, Tomasson
Celtic – Marshall; Agathe, Varga, Balde, Valgaeren; Petrov, Lennon, Sutton, Thompson; Hartson, Camara
• Like this season, the teams drew 0-0 at Celtic Park in the return fixture, played in the final round of group games – a stalemate that consigned Celtic to fourth place, with Milan top.
• Milan's overall home record against Scottish sides is played five, won four and drawn one. Celtic have drawn two and lost four of their six past matches in Italy.
• Celtic's most memorable encounters with Italian opponents have come against Milan's neighbours, FC Internazionale Milano. Jock Stein's team beat Inter 2-1 in the 1966/67 European Cup final but in 1971/72 they suffered semi-final heartache, losing 5-4 on penalties at Celtic Park following two 0-0 draws.
• The last side to win a UEFA Champions League tie after drawing the first leg at home were FC Porto in the 2003/04 semi-finals. Since then ten teams have tried but failed to regain the initiative in a tie following a home first-leg draw.
• Celtic's Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was in the PSV Eindhoven team beaten by Milan in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Milan's Gennaro Gattuso, meanwhile, played in five 'Old Firm' derbies for former club Rangers FC against Celtic in 1997/98 - winning three, drawing one and losing one.
• Milan's Pirlo scored twice at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as an Italy side featuring him, Gattuso and Alberto Gilardino overcame a Scotland side including Celtic's Kenny Miller 2-0 in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier in March 2005.
• The winning team will advance to the 9 March draw in Athens for the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The Greek capital will also stage the final on Wednesday 23 May.
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