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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 14, 2007

Ancelotti expecting physical battle with Bhoys

AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti has described Celtic as a 'very physical' team and admits he expects a fast-paced Champions League clash at Parkhead next week.

Celtic have home advantage for the first leg of the last-16 clash, and have an enviable record of nine wins in the 12 Champions League matches they have contested in Glasgow.

The teams go head to head on Tuesday, with Ancelotti's side determined they should not follow Manchester United, Benfica and FC Copenhagen by losing at Celtic this season.

He admits Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink will be difficult to contain, with the Dutchman having hit seven goals in his past five domestic appearances.

'Celtic are a very physical team. They play at high rhythm,' said Ancelotti.

'I thnk Vennegoor of Hesselink is one of their best players. Last season he played against us when he was at PSV (Eindhoven).'

Ancelotti does not know what to expect from Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, who has experience of Italian football, having joined from Reggina 18 months ago.

'He is a talented player, although he still has to find regularity (consistency),' said Ancelotti during a webchat on club website.

Milan are only seventh in Serie A this season, having had eight points deducted for their part in the corruption scandal which saw Juventus demoted to Serie B.

They will certainly not catch leaders Inter Milan and are among several clubs jostling to qualify for Europe, meaning the Champions League takes on added importance.

Milan are bidding to be crowned European champions for a seventh time.

'Certainly yes, the Champions League remains our primary objective,' said Ancelotti.

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