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Kaka fit to face Arsenal: Ancelotti

The Brazilian was the driving force behind Milan's victorious Champions League campaign last season, scoring 10 goals on the way to the final.

sports Updated: Mar 03, 2008 22:10 IST

World player of the year Kaka will be fit to face Arsenal in Tuesday's Champions League match at the San Siro, AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Monday.

There had been some doubt about whether the Brazil playmaker would be available for the second leg of the last 16 tie after he missed two league games with a knee problem.

"Recently we have paid for the absence of quality players, but we have recovered them all for tomorrow, Kaka included, and I'm sure we will produce a great performance," Ancelotti told a news conference.

The Brazilian was the driving force behind Milan's victorious Champions League campaign last season, scoring 10 goals on the way to the final.

Ancelotti said captain Paolo Maldini, defender Alessandro Nesta, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and striker Filippo Inzaghi were also fit after skipping Saturday's 1-1 draw with Lazio.

Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf is unlikely to play because of a thigh muscle strain he suffered on Saturday, although the final decision will not be taken until Tuesday.

Ancelotti expressed optimism that the seven-times European champions could reverse their poor form in Serie A, where they have drawn four of their last five games.

"I'm confident because this team has always managed to find the right attitude when playing this type of match," he said.

"We go from the 0-0 of the first leg, a result that obliges us to be careful, but that does not mean we won't face the game with courage. The Champions League is in this club's DNA."

He also said it would not be impossible for Milan to repeat the superlative performance they produced to beat Manchester United 3-0 at home last season to reach the final of the competition.

President Silvio Berlusconi denied speculation that he would replace Ancelotti with Italy's World Cup-winning boss Marcello Lippi if his side fail on Tuesday.

"Milan getting knocked out of the Champions League would not bring Lippi on to the Rossonera bench," he told Rai radio.

"Ancelotti is staying, I'm absolutely convinced of that, in part out of affection for the man who has brought so many successes to Milan, despite my esteem for Marcello Lippi, who I consider a great coach."