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Zürich out to silence misfiring Milan

AC Milan may have opened with victory at Olympique de Marseille but they have only scored one home goal all season and FC Zürich are hoping, says Bernard Challandes, to "take advantage".

Zürich out to silence misfiring Milan
Zürich out to silence misfiring Milan ©UEFA.com

AC Milan may have opened their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win at Olympique de Marseille but they have only scored one home goal all season and Group C visitors FC Zürich are hoping, in coach Bernard Challandes's words, to "take advantage". His side are themselves seeking to bounce back from their 5-2 home loss to Real Madrid CF.

Leonardo, Milan coach
We've had highs and lows this season and it's an important game against Zürich. It's not always easy to play so many games in so few days. We have to look ahead to our next games without thinking about what happened in the past. We shouldn't think about the home draw against Bari. We're playing in the Champions League now and we have to focus on that. We don't need to change much, we know how to play in Europe. I'm not worried. Our team is built to play football and to play it well, and when we are not able to do well in attack then of course we are going to concede in defence. We are looking for alternatives. We should play the ball fast, we should start pressing with our forwards, and if we manage to play like that we will surely create chances. We shouldn't change our way of playing. The best formation with the players I have is 4-3-1-2, though of course during a game we can adapt things, especially when things don't go as planned. But it's not good to keep changing things.

Bernard Challandes, Zürich coach
Milan are struggling at the moment and we hope we can take advantage but it is not easy. True, they haven't scored many goals but they haven't conceded many either. I have seen their games against Olympique de Marseille and Bologna and they didn't give many chances to their opponents so it will be tough. But I believe in my team's qualities and I don't want to talk too much about Milan. Almen Abdi [who has announced his departure next summer] will play tomorrow. I am Zurich's coach and I want my team to win, so I will do everything necessary to win; if I think he can help us I will field him, no matter what. Alphonse is the only player in doubt, he trained with the team today and we will see tomorrow if he is fit to play.

Weekend results
27/09/09 Milan 0-0 AS Bari
• The Rossoneri have struck just one goal in three games at San Siro this season – they scored in every home match last term, in all competitions.

• The last time they failed to score at home before this season was in their UEFA Champions League defeat by Arsenal on 4 March 2008. The Bari draw was the fourth time in six domestic outings Milan have failed to register.

27/09/09 FC Zürich 1-2 Neuchâtel Xamax FC
(Vonlanthen 58; Niasse 8, Aide Brown 64)
• Zürich finished six points clear of runners-up Young Boys last season but, eleven games into this campaign, they are 13 points adrift of the current pacesetters.

• The 3-0 loss to Young Boys last Wednesday was Zürich's first in eight league games since they were beaten 3-0 by Xamax on 18 July.

Team news
Out: Christian Abbiati (knee), Davide Di Gennaro (knee), Marco Borriello (back), Thiago Silva (thigh)
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: none

Out: Eric Hassli (broken shin)
Doubtful: Alexandre Alphonse (illness)
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: none

• Hassli broke his left leg during training on 26 September and is expected to be sidelined until March.

• Milan will be looking to repeat last season's superiority over their Swiss opponents after defeating Zürich 4-1 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup first round. 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 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.

• 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.

Did you know?
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 opposition.