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Wed 13 Feb 2008 02:39 AM

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Ancelotti focused on fourth place

AC Milan coach says Livorno clash a ‘great opportunity’ to return to top four after long absence.

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has set his sights on fourth place ahead of AC Milan's clash with lowly Livorno at the San Siro on Wednesday.

Milan sit fifth, just two points behind Fiorentina and with a game in hand, which they play on Wednesday.

Fourth place is vital to the European champions as finishing in that position will guarantee them a place in the Champions League next season.

"For us tomorrow is a great opportunity to return to the top four after a long absence," said Ancelotti on Tuesday.

"Of course it won't be a decisive step but it's very important psychologically.

"We still have to fight to the end for every point because we have some tough opponents who are just as determined as us to finish fourth.

"It won't be easy against Livorno because since (Giancarlo) Camolese took over the team has taken a dramatic change of direction, they've won many points and they've climbed up the league table”.

Livorno were struggling badly earlier in the season down in 19th place but they went on a run of nine games without defeat (four wins and five draws) which saw them climb up towards mid-table.

However, they have picked up just one point from their last three matches and now sit 15th, just three points above the relegation zone.

They may have to contend with Milan's new teenager star Alberto Paloschi, though, on Wednesday night.

Paloschi made a stunning debut on Sunday, scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Siena, just 18 seconds after replacing Serginho as a second-half substitute.

He could start the match alongside Italy striker Alberto Gilardino if veteran forward Filippo Inzaghi doesn't recover from a knock he suffered at the weekend.

As the second 18-year-old striker this season to make a goal-scoring debut in the red and black of Milan - following Brazilian Pato's goal in the 5-2 victory over Napoli in January - Paloschi has been the talk of the town this week with Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani singing his praises.

"This lad has got off to a great start to his career and I hope he goes on like this," he told Sky Italia.

"In all my years in football I've seen the sport's capacity to surprise but this was the most unexpected and unpredictable thing.

"I can't believe a player has scored with his first touch in Serie A".

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