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Udinese AC Milan - Preview

AC Milan visit Udinese tomorrow at the end of another week of rumour and counter-rumour surrounding the future of coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti is reported to be on his way to Chelsea at the end of the season with his position at the San Siro seemingly undermined by a midweek outburst from club owner Silvio Berlusconi, in which he reportedly blamed the former Italy defender for the club's failure to win the Scudetto.

Berlusconi, who is also the Italian prime minister, has since denied making the remarks but there is no doubt Ancelotti's long association with the Rossoneri is in danger of ending in acrimony.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has attempted to quell the unrest by denying rumours Ancelotti and Berlusconi will meet over the weekend.

"Carlo Ancelotti is calm and doing well, there's no problem,'' he told

"I reiterate that there won't be any meetings between him and president Berlusconi who at the moment is exclusively fulfilling his role of prime minister.''

Unlike Berlusconi, who questioned Ancelotti's tactics and team selections, Galliani believes injuries are the reason why Milan did not present more of a challenge to an Inter Milan side on the cusp of clinching a fourth successive Serie A crown.

"I continue to believe that Milan's squad is absolutely competitive,'' he added.

"The numerous injuries stopped us this year. For example (Alessandro) Nesta and (Kakha) Kaladze never played a minute together this year.

"Those were the only problems this season and there are no tactical divisions in Milan's management.

"Clearly there can be differing ideas in a group of people, but it's absolutely normal.''

Despite the off-field issues, the second-placed Rossoneri are already guaranteed of a place in next season's Champions League although a win tomorrow will see them definitely enter the tournament at the group stage.

The visitors will be missing two key players, however, with Giuseppe Favalli, who was sent-off in last weekend's draw with Juventus, and England midfielder David Beckham suspended.

Eighth-placed Udinese have revenge on their minds as they go about chasing the three points that will maintain their push for a Europa League spot.

The north-east club were hammered 5-1 at the San Siro in December, a memory defender Cristian Zapata is desperate to erase with a win tomorrow.

Zapata told the club's official website, "The five-goal defeat from the first game still hurts.

"On Saturday we must play a great game and try to win. Everything depends on us, we must believe and remain concentrated for all three games between now and the end of the season.

"We must give our best until the end. If we continue like this everything is possible, we must play every game to our best.''