Milan striker Inzaghi out of Barca clash

April 17, 2006

CARNAGO, Italy, April 17 (Reuters) - AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi has been ruled out of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg at home to Barcelona due to a high temperature.

Inzaghi, who scored twice in Milan's quarter-final win over Olympique Lyon, was unable to train on Monday after missing Friday's derby victory over Inter Milan.

A spokesman for Milan said that Inzaghi would not be named in the squad to be announced later on Monday.

Inzaghi has scored four goals in five Champions League games for Milan this season and his place in attack alongside Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko is likely to be taken by Italy international Alberto Gilardino.

'He's a very important player for us and I am sorry he has had this sickness,' Shevchenko said of Inzaghi at a news conference on Monday.

'His absence will be felt but we have top players who can come in and play an important part in the team,' added the Ukrainian.

Despite the loss of a key striker, whose finishing proved decisive in the knockout games against Lyon and Bayern Munich, Milan are in confident mood ahead of Tuesday's game at a sold-out San Siro stadium.

Friday's 1-0 derby win over Inter Milan has boosted Milan and coach Carlo Ancelotti said he expected the very best from his side who are playing their third semi-final in four years and hoping to reach their third final in that period.

'We are confident -- we know how to prepare and interpret games like this. For many of them (Barcelona) this is a new experience but I don't think that will influence the outcome,' said Ancelotti.

'Milan and Barcelona are two great teams, maybe the best in Europe at the moment. I expect two beautiful games, exciting and entertaining matches,' added Ancelotti.