By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
AC Milan midfielder Michael Essien says the team must be at its best when they face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
The Ghana international is expected to play a part in the Rossoneri set up when they welcome in the Spanish club to the San Siro next week for the first leg of the Round of 16 tie.
Milan continue to struggle to salvage what is left of their domestic campaign – with the Champions League offering their only prospect of winning a trophy this season.
Essien who arrived from Chelsea in January but is eligible to play in the Champions League admits the team must be top of its form when the face the title-chasing Atletico Spanish club.
"We have to be at our best against Atlético Madrid,” he said.
“I don't know who will play, but those who get to play will have to give their best. “The coach will decide who gets to play. Atlético Madrid is a very good team, and I have played against them a few times for Real Madrid.
“They are playing very well at the moment. We have to deliver a top performance in order to beat team.
“We have to work hard and hope that we can win."
Milan are currently 11th in Serie-A – a staggering 18 points behind third-placed Napoli which qualifies them for Champions League football next season.
This means Clarence Seedorf’s side must win this season’s contest if they want to be part of next season’s Champions League as they are unlikely to finish third in Serie-A.