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Maldini Out, Vidic In

Injury boost ahead of our semi-final clash with Milan: Paolo Maldini will not feature for the Italians but Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have travelled to Italy.

Will it be the repeat of the 2005 final or we'll see the most important derby of history? Liverpool are through and in the cauldron of San Siro only one can survive.

OK, I give up on poetry and drama. The thing is, we somehow have to protect a slender one-goal advantage to take on the Scousers in Athens on May 23. A lot of people think we are doomed because of Gattuso's availability and our makeshift back four.

However, things start to look a little brighter. First, Paolo Maldini will be absent and Alessandro Nesta simply did not look as confident after the veteran had been substituted for Daniele Bonera.

'Paolo Maldini will remain in the team's training camp even though he's not available for tomorrow's game,' Carlo Ancelotti told Milan Channel.

Gennaro Gattuso, another doubt for the game, will most certainly be fit but that's no surprise, unlike the fact that not just Rio Ferdinand but Nemanja Vidic also travelled to Milan. It would be a huge surprise if both of them would be in the starting line-up but even their presence and availability is a huge boost.

That is true of Louis Saha, too. I expect him to start on the bench but it's reassuring that if things go wrong, we still have an ace to play.

Having said that, I firmly believe we should not try to hang on to this lead. Milan are a patient team and a slow pace would suit them perfectly while their sudden changes of rhythm could wreak havoc. The best we can do is try to keep up the tempo, forcing them to play with pace as they are likely to tire in the last third of the games, just as it happened at Old Trafford.

"If we are realistic, we know Milan, on their own ground, will be huge favourites to score," Ferguson said.

"We hope we can avoid that but the safety net is to score ourselves that is why we will have an attacking emphasis.

"I don`t think sitting on the edge of our box would do me, the team or the fans any good.

"If we are going to do it, we will do it our way. If we are going to lose we will do it our way. Hopefully, it will be good enough."

Reassuring words but dare we believe him? He had promised an attacking attitude before the games at Emirates, Anfield, Stadio Olimpico - and the reality is we had gone to these places to defend. Milan are a better team than Liverpool, we can't expect them to attack 90 minutes without really getting close to scoring.

Of course, I'd be quite happy with an onslaught if we emerged unscathed like at Anfield but it's highly unlikely to happen so please Fergie, tell me you are serious and that you are prepared to lose in our own unmistakeable way. Such an exit would be much more bearable but the most important thing isthat with this attitude, we'll have a greater chance of going through.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday May 1 2007

Time: 11:41PM

Your Comments

lets hope you guys do it , a Man U liverpool final would be far and away the best specticle in years on teh european front !
if vidic and ferdinand both start which i dont think they will i suspect we will win. If we do get to the final im gonna be honest i think liverpool will win it.
Best of luck tonight lads....I for one am hoping for a Liverpool Vs Utd final. Oh yeh and do us a favour wrap up the league and win the FA Cup while your there to shut them t w a t s up from West London..
rooneyisgod,Come on mate,where is that belief? Your name should give you a clue.With Rooney,Ronaldo,Scholes,Giggs and Neville we can beat anyone.Come on brother,with an attitude like that I'm surprised you don't follow City!(sorry for that insult)
i started to feel sorry for your lot,then i remembered rooney diving in the box to win that penalty against campbell to rob us,and i thought...good i hope they rip you apart(which they did) you dirty cheating diving kuntie scumbags does it feel rooneyisgod? i hope you are realy suffering,cos you love a person who is beneath the dirt on the ground....words cannot express to me how happy i am that you and those chavs are out.
fran merida
Guys this is not the place take your insults else where. TBH Who has won the Premiership??? EXACTLY!
fren media you talk about diving like your team aint specialists at it. and as for me suffering about the defeat im sure its not as bad as barclona beating you in the final last year or as bad as you not winning nothing this season
yeah whatever at least we wasnt humiliated like your team yesterday,also your writing is terrible did you ever go to school,you retard...."as you not winning nothing" thats a double negative,you fool...go back to school...or cant you see what your typing through all those tears.....come on citeh
fran merida
so you really want to talk about humiliation lets talk about you getting beat by sheffield united now thats very humiliating. and it is also humiliating that your 19 points of us and that you aint winning nothing,.

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