Good time to meet Milan – Ferguson

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes AC Milan are a

different proposition in the Champions League since the departure

of Kaka.

Ferguson is in buoyant mood as his United side prepare to

travel to the San Siro for Tuesday’s round-of-16 first-leg tie.

Kaka moved to Real Madrid last summer, joining former United

forward Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu.

United lost 3-0 in their last contest with the Rossoneri at

the San Siro as Kaka inspired the hosts to a semi-final win in 2007

and Ferguson is happy not to be facing the Brazil playmaker.

“It’s a good time for us to be going to Milan,” said

Ferguson.

“They played this weekend (beating Udinese 3-2 on Friday

night), they’ve lost Kaka and have a few injuries, whereas we

aren’t playing this weekend and we have had a good rest.”

Tactically, Leonardo’s side have been forced to adapt since

Kaka’s move to Spain, according to Ferguson.

He added: “They have changed since they lost Kaka.

“They used Kaka at the head of a diamond and two front

players but they have changed that and gone 4-3-3 with two wide

players and three centre-midfield players.

“You have to recognise they are not short of skill and

experience.

“Ronaldinho, Pato all these players, but equally we have

players who can win the match too.

“After the experience in the San Siro three years ago, where

they dominated the game, I know that won’t happen again.”

Pato is outlined by Ferguson as the biggest threat to United

in the first-leg contest, which may see David Beckham face his

former club.

“It’s Pato they are desperate to get back in,” added

Ferguson.

“If he’s not back they’ll play David wide right.

“We know all about David, he’s a great crosser of the ball so

we will have to be alive to that.”

Ferguson, whose side have won four of their last five games,

scoring 16 goals, is confident United can cope in the absence of

Ryan Giggs, who suffered a broken arm against Aston Villa last

Wednesday.

“My players are used to big occasions and I think the good

thing for us now is that we have hit form at just the right time,”

said the United boss.

“We will miss Giggsy, but we have players in great form and

working really well.

“The improvement you see in players like (Wayne) Rooney, Nani

and (Antonio) Valencia, who has done a great job for us since

coming here, is fantastic and we have (Darren) Fletcher and

(Michael) Carrick playing out of their skins.

“(Paul) Scholes is playing well too. I have players who are

playing well at the right time.”