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Mar 8, 2011

Robinho confident of overturning deficit

AC Milan forward Robinho says the Rossoneri are "ready to be champions" of Europe again and stressed that while coming back from a Champions League last-16 first leg defeat will be tough, he is confident his side can progress to the quarter-finals.

Redknapp eyes end to injuries
Bale in contention for Milan

Robinho spent 18 months in England playing for Manchester City after a £32 million transfer from Real Madrid, but now faces Tottenham for his new club Milan with a 1-0 deficit to overturn, after Harry Redknapp's charges won 1-0 at the San Siro a fortnight ago.

But despite Milan facing an uphill task to qualify for the next round, the Brazilian is confident his return to England will yield a positive result for Massimiliano Allegri's side.

"It is a competition I love playing in, a difficult one, the toughest in European football," Robinho told UEFA.com. "We hope to win it this season. And if not, we will try to win it over the coming years. Now I am enjoying this new and exciting time in Milan, with a great team. We're in good shape and ready to be champions

"Unfortunately, we lost the home leg in a difficult match. And we conceded a goal when we were playing better. But that does not mean we cannot win there. I honestly believe we can win in England.

"We will have to change our attitude and be even more focused, and if we concede a goal things will become even more difficult, but anything can happen in football. Our goal is to come back from England having qualified for the next round of the Champions League. I played in England for a year and a half and I know how English teams play - very well."

Spurs striker Peter Crouch scored the crucial goal in the first leg two weeks ago, and Robinho says he and his team-mates are expecting the England frontman to be the focal point of the Londoners' attack again on Wednesday.

"They play in a different way, focusing on physical strength, plenty of crosses into the box - especially because they have a very tall player in Peter Crouch," Robinho said. "I think they will play exactly the same way again."

Milan coach Allegri echoed Robinho's thoughts on the Rossoneri's chances of progress, insisting his players have nothing to fear from a side playing Champions League football for the first time.

"It must be said that, despite playing good football, Tottenham are not among the strongest in Europe," Allegri said.

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