Pressure on Mancini in Milan derby

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The Independent Online

It is the derby that neither side wanted, but in tonight's Champions' League quarter-final, first leg between Milan and their city rivals, Internazionale, the pressure is firmly on Roberto Mancini's side.

It is the derby that neither side wanted, but in tonight's Champions' League quarter-final, first leg between Milan and their city rivals, Internazionale, the pressure is firmly on Roberto Mancini's side.

Milan, Champions' League winners in 2003, are Italian champions and joint leaders in Serie A with Juventus. For Mancini's Inter, with just two Uefa Cup titles to show for 16 years of heavy financial investment, their entire season will be determined by the tie.

"We have an awful lot to lose," Dejan Stankovic, the Inter midfielder, said. "Going out of the Champions' League, which I don't even want to think about, would mean that we have lost everything and are left empty-handed."

Milan are unbeaten in their last eight meetings with their rivals. They look set to welcome back Andrei Shevchenko who could partner the Argentinian Hernan Crespo from the start.

Inter, though, will be without their main attacking threat as the Brazilian Adriano is still recovering from a knee injury, although he hopes to be back for the second leg on 12 April.

With Christian Vieri short of match fitness, Mancini will start with the Argentinian Julio Ricardo Cruz up front, either on his own or alongside the Nigerian Obafemi Martins.

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