AC Milan will be expected to produce a win against Anderlecht in its UEFA Champions League group opener at the San Siro on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning AEST) if it is to end its early season jitters.
The seven-time champion is tipped to win a Group C containing Spanish side Malaga, Zenit St Petersburg of Russia, as well as Belgian opponent Anderlecht.
But recent events at the San Siro suggest Massimiliano Allegri's side could face a battle to make it into the last 16 of this year's competition.
Milan, which finished league runner-up to Juventus last season, has conceded two home defeats either side of a 3-1 win away to Bologna in its first three league fixtures.
Allegri looked a frustrated man on the touchline as his side fought frantically for a goal before succumbing 1-0 to supposedly inferior opposition in Bergamo-based side Atalanta on the weekend.
He now wants a different Milan side to show better potential.
"We have to improve and forget the results we've had. Tuesday for us is a chance to pick up the pieces and move on," said the 45-year-old, who since taking over in 2010 has led Milan to the league title and Super Cup title in 2011.
Looking at the big picture, that is easier said than done.
Milan sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain in the northern summer and the departure of long-serving stars like Alessandro Nesta, Filippo Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf has left Milan almost unrecognisable.
Although set to welcome back midfielder Riccardo Montolivo after a recent knock, Milan is still awaiting the return from injury of Brazil pair Alexandre Pato and Robinho.
And while Nigel de Jong, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Bojan Krkic are exciting prospects, Allegri's struggle to forge a convincing football-playing team is coming under increasing scrutiny.
Milan dominated Atalanta throughout but paid for a series of misses when a 65th-minute strike by Luca Cigarini gave the visitor a shock 1-0 win.
Team skipper Massimo Ambrosini, 35, is set to start despite having to come off midway through the second half with a foot injury.
But the long-serving midfielder, who has regularly risen to the occasion in key Champions League fixtures for his club, says it's time to forget the past.
"We need time to accept that this team has changed ... but the fact they (players) have left should not be an excuse," Ambrosini said.
"Last season we had a lot of quality players that we could rely on. Now, we have to start doing things that perhaps last year we didn't have to."
On paper Milan looks the stronger team but having twice won the title (1994, 2007) after meeting Anderlecht earlier in those respective campaigns, the Rossoneri fans have good reason to have less faith this time around.
Rafael Benitez quietly slipped out of Chelsea as the UEFA Europa League winner ended its season with a 5-3 friendly loss to Manchester City at Yankee Stadium.