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Milan seek repeat mission against Zürich

AC Milan and FC Zürich, who had never met before their UEFA Cup tie in September 2008, come face to face for the third time in 12 months when they cross paths at San Siro in the second round of Group C fixtures.

Milan seek repeat mission against Zürich
Milan seek repeat mission against Zürich ©UEFA.com

Twelve months after they were drawn together in the UEFA Cup first round, Matchday 2 provides AC Milan and FC Zürich with the chance of an early reunion on European club football's grandest stage. The pair come into the fixture in contrasting mood after the first round of games; the Italian giants were 2-1 winners at Olympique de Marseille thanks to Filippo Inzaghi's double while Zürich were beaten 5-2 at home by Real Madrid CF.

Previous meetings
• Milan will be looking to repeat last season's superiority over their Swiss opponents in what was their first-ever meeting. In the first leg at San Siro, an own goal from Florian Stahel put the home team in front in added time at the end of the first half. Pato and substitute Marco Borriello then extended the lead before Dušan Djurić pulled a goal back.

• In the second leg Andriy Shevchenko's 70th-minute goal completed a convincing Milan victory.

• The teams for the first game in Italy on 18 September 2008 were:
Milan: Dida, Daniele Bonera, Kakha Kaladze, Luca Antonini, Marek Jankulovski, Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Ambrosini (Emerson 68), Mathieu Flamini, Kaká, Pato (Marco Borriello 65), Andriy Shevchenko (Ronaldinho 75).
Zürich: Johnny Leoni, Daniel Stucki, Heinz Barmettler, Hannu Tihinen, Florian Stahel, Silvan Aegerter, Tico, Dušan Djurić, Almen Abdi (Admir Mehmedi 88), Alexandre Alphonse, Eric Hassli (Adrian Nikci 77).

• The Rossoneri's only other competitive meeting with a Swiss side came in the 1993/94 UEFA Champions League first round when Jean-Pierre Papin's strike at FC Aarau proved the only goal of the tie.

• Zürich have won only one of six meetings with Italian opposition, a 3-0 home defeat of Empoli FC in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup first round second leg.

Match background
• Milan's last home game in the UEFA Champions League finished in a 2-0 reverse against Arsenal FC in the 2007/08 first knockout round and elimination by the same aggregate scoreline. It ended a run of five successive quarter-final berths in the competition.

• Defending the crown they won for the seventh time in May 2007, Milan had earlier posted wins in all three home group games.

• Milan are on a run of five wins in their last seven UEFA Champions League home games with one draw and one defeat having recorded two wins and a draw in Italy in the 2006/07 knockout rounds.

Team ties
• Johan Vonlanthen appeared as a late substitute for Switzerland in last month's goalless friendly international against Italy in Basel. Gianluca Zambrotta and Andrea Pirlo were among the oppostition.

• Milan's Marek Jankulovski played for the Czech Republic in a 1-0 win against a Swiss team including Vonlanthen in the opening fixture of UEFA EURO 2008™ in Basel.

• Jankulovski and Finland's Hannu Tihinen were on opposing sides in the Czech Republic's 4-3 defeat of Finland in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Teplice in March 2005.

• Tihinen also met Alessandro Nesta and Zambrotta as Finland twice went down 2-0 against Italy in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2004™.

• Vonlanthen and Xavier Margairaz played for Switzerland in a November 2006 friendly in Basel against a Brazil team containing Ronaldinho. Brazil won 2-1.

• Djurić appeared as a late substitute as Sweden won 1-0 in a friendly international in Goteborg in August 2007 against a United States team containing Oguchi Onyewu.