Key Battles: Milan vs Manchester United

Last updated at 16:13 07 March 2005

After going down 1-0 to AC Milan at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson's men are faced with the daunting task of trying to score at least one away goal at the San Siro.

But the Italians are notoriously hard to break down and Milan boast a wealth of talent which saw them win the competition two years ago.

Here, we look at where the important tussles will take place on the pitch.

Rio Ferdinand v Hernan Crespo

Ferdinand's pace and agility will boost his chances of keeping the Argentinian quiet, but Crespo will feel he has a point to prove after his exit from Chelsea and is sure to be spurred on by his first-leg strike.

Should Ferdinand keep too tight to Crespo, the Milan forward will look to give him the slip, but if Ferdinand stands off, the Argentinian will relish the chance to shoot on sight. It adds up to a testing challenge for Ferdinand.

Roy Keane v Kaka

Depending on Carlo Ancelotti's tactics, Keane may find himself faced with the daunting task of shackling Milan's playmaker Kaka.

The young Brazilian may not possess the dazzling array of skills displayed by Ronaldinho, but his sharp thinking enables him to create chances for Shevchenko, Filippo Inzaghi and often himself out of nothing. Keane, though, will not be fazed and will look to keep the opposition quiet by nullifying Kaka's threat from early on.

Cristiano Ronaldo v Paolo Maldini

One of the hottest prospects in world football, Ronaldo will relish the chance to prove himself against one of the few living legends currently in the game.

Milan captain Maldini has enjoyed a glittering career but his hunger for success has never waned. While his pace is far from a match for the Portuguese winger, wily Maldini will not be easily fooled by Ronaldo's step-overs - as he proved in Manchester.

Ruud van Nistelrooy v Jaap Stam

Former United defender Stam spoke of his desire to return to Old Trafford in the Champions League and after his wish was granted, the Dutchman will get the chance to show his old supporters what they are missing.

Stam has improved even further since Ferguson showed him the door and he knows van Nistelrooy well from their days with the Holland squad. But van Nistelrooy is one of the most prolific strikers in Champions League history and will look forward to pitting himself against a notoriously resolute defence.

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