Spurs back in Milan as Champions League returns

London: Tottenham Hotspur return to the San Siro to take on AC Milan and Valencia host Schalke 04 as the Champions League knockout phase swings into action on Tuesday.

This season`s format has the eight last-16 ties spread over two weeks with two matches on each of four evenings.

Arsenal host Barcelona on Wednesday in a repeat of last year`s quarter-final and the 2006 final, both won by the Spaniards, while AS Roma entertain Shakhtar Donetsk.

Last time Spurs were in Milan they trailed 4-0 to Inter but Gareth Bale`s superb hat-trick made the final score 4-3 and gave the London team the belief to win the home match 3-1 en route to topping the group ahead of the holders.

Bale misses Tuesday`s match with a back injury but fellow midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is fit for the Londoners.

Milan also have injury worries and with January recruits Antonio Cassano and Mark van Bommel ineligible they will need to change the side which has put them on course for the Serie A title.

Valencia have been in excellent domestic form, winning six and drawing one of seven matches this year, and Saturday`s 2-1 comeback victory at Atletico Madrid lifted them into third in La Liga behind the big two.

However, Schalke showed great spirit to top their qualifying group ahead of Olympique Lyon and will be a tough nut to crack.

Bureau Report

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