Eager Eggen eggs on his troops

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The Independent Online
The Rosenborg Trondheim coach, Nils Arne Eggen, gave his players a roasting yesterday, saying they faced a 9-0 pasting by Milan in the Champions' League tonight unless they improved sharply.

Eggen, fully aware of the gargantuan task of pitting his part-timers against the likes of George Weah, Zvonomir Boban and Edgar Davids, admitted he was trying to psyche his players up. "I was trying to raise the temperature. They're pretty fed up now but they've got reason to be after today's performance," the coach said after screaming abuse at his players during a 90-minute training session. Both Rosenborg and Milan performed contrary to expectations in their opening Champions' League Group D matches two weeks ago, the Norwegians beating IFK Gothenburg 3-2 in Sweden and the Italians losing 3-2 at home to Portugal's Porto.

Milan know that to finish second in Group D would risk an unwanted quarter- final clash with their compatriots Juventus, the likely Group C winners. However, Milan's Uruguayan coach, Oscar Washington Tabarez, believes his side are back on course following successive defeats against Porto and, in the league, Sampdoria. "This is a very important win because there's a bit of everything in it, above all the stress felt by a side like ours which simply cannot allow itself to lose two successive league games," he said after Sunday's 2-1 win at Bologna.

Milan's only selection doubts are in defence. Pietro Vierchowod is cup- tied but Tabarez hopes his 36-year-old captain, Franco Baresi, may recover in time to replace him. If Baresi proves unready, then Tabarez can play either Filippo Galli or the Frenchman Marcel Desailly alongside Alessandro Costacurta, with the Dutchman Edgar Davids replacing Desailly in midfield.

In attack, Simone partners George Weah and the Montenegrin, Dejan Savicevic. Roberto Baggio is again left out. The Croat, Zvonimir Boban, and Demetrio Albertini are certain starters in midfield.

Rosenborg are likely to include the former Manchester City player, Kare Ingebrigtsen, in midfield.

Rosenborg Trondheim (probable): Jamtfall; Hoftun, Bragstad, Stensaas, Hjelde, Kvarme, Bratseth, Ingebrigtsen, Brattbakk, Jakobsen, Sorli.

Milan (probable): Rossi; Panucci, Costacurta, Desailly, Maldini, Davids, Albertini, Boban, Savicevic, Weah, Simone.

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