ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - FC Inter Milan
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FC Inter Milan
Posted by Gianni Serra on 02/23/2011

Last May Inter-Bayern was the Champions League final and both teams were challenging for an historic treble, having both already won their domestic league and cup competitions. A Diego Milito brace gave the European crown to Inter and no one could argue that the best team won.

This time Inter-Bayern is merely a last-16 clash. Inter are third in Serie A and Bayern Munich are third in the Bundesliga. Both teams look less solid at the back and more efficient upfront than one season ago. Many similarities, but also some differences. Mainly in quality.

• Bayern blog: Foot off the brake

A couple of days ago I heard a so-called expert saying the result of this tie will basically depend on Samuel Eto'o and Mario Gomez performances. Mario Gomez is someone who can score, sure. And this season Gomez looks again the player who used to score week in week out for Stuttgart. But he's never been the kind of player who can create goals out of nothing - if he scores it means Bayern are playing very well and it'd make a very slight difference to have him or Miroslav Klose in the poacher position. So he can score but he does not possess the talent or the personality to turn around any team's fortunes. Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben can do that, certainly not Gomez.

Samuel Eto'o is a different class of striker. No comparison. Far more skilled, versatile and proved at the very top level - he scored twice in two different Champions League finals. The Cameroon forward can invent goal opportunities for himself and for his team mates with his pressing and with his all around movement. The key area can't be Eto'o vs Gomez, otherwise there would be no match. On the contrary this is a very open tie. The key areas will be elsewhere. Maicon vs Ribery and Chivu vs Robben are tough test for all of them. But Inter fullbacks look far better equipped to handle the talents of Ribery and Robben than Bayern's centre-backs opposed to Eto'o and Sneijder.

"Inter play always the same football. Just like last season, no difference. The love to defend", said Louis Van Gaal. The Dutch coach knows very well it's not true - Leonardo shaped his Inter to play and score goals. And Inter will score. My prediction? Inter-Bayern 3-1.





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Comments

Posted by Mike on 02/23/2011

Chivu is going to get schooled. He will probably get carded too trying to stop Robben. Bayern will score in this game, probably more than once. I'd day 2-2 is more likely than 3-1.

Posted by FCTejas on 02/23/2011

3-1 huh? Well, ya got the score right, ya just seem to have reversed the numbers. Inter are a shell of their JM selves and unlike last season, Ribery is playing. Just hope you aren't embarrassed...

Posted by Chris on 02/23/2011

I have been tracking both teams from the start of the season...... Inter had some problems getting in shape at the beginning of the season, they know have reached what seems to be the shape they were in last season. Inter has a lot of experience when playing this type of games. Bayern on the other hand, had problems in the Bundesliga, but performed great in the CL. Bayerns boost came a couple of weeks ago when ribery and robben began to play again. Last seasons final, ribery wasnt able to play due to a red card. This Bayern is a different one that Inter faced last year, know that both ribery and robben are fit to play. Thus, thomas muller and mario gomez are in excellent shape.

I think the result for todays game will go to Bayern!

Posted by max on 02/23/2011

Bayern all the way!!

Posted by Sam on 02/23/2011

Wow the Bayern fans are really jumping on board this blog, fair enough. Should be an interesting game, Inter will need to rediscover thier defensive solidarity if they are to get a result in my opinion. We have struggled against teams who play with width and pace this season and will need to ensure that the fullbacks are not isolated. If we let this happen we could suffer.
The ky to beating Bayern is to play compact, tight and disciplined football and hit them on the counter. They commit large numbers forward and often leave their barely average defenders hopelessly exposed. Compounding this, their wingers and forwards are not prone to track back ever leaving plenty of space in behind. Inter will get opportunities, this is not in doubt. They must, however, ensure that they dont give Bayern too many or it could be bad.
My prediction is a tighter game than most are predicting as both teams restrict space but Inter to edge it 2-1

Posted by Moises on 02/23/2011

2-0 Inter The perfect result!!

Posted by Austin on 02/23/2011

I believe inter have what it takes to win. I think Nagatomo in particular has been a solid addition to the backs and if Chivu can't handle his position Nagatomo is a more than able replacement. I have to admit I'm worried about Kharja if we start him - he's very hit or miss and lacks the experience we need. It really comes down to whether or not we can effectively counter-attack today.

Inter 2 Bayern 1 -> Gomez will likely score while Ranocchia is marking him, Sneijder and Eto'o at the other end from a free kick and counter-attack respectively...I hope.

Posted by soccerfan on 02/23/2011

Inter is a very tight team, but Bayern has two players on the wings that will be hard to stop. Between Robben and Ribery, will be hard for the Inter defence to hold them, thus adding to this Thomas Muller who is a versatile player, will be very difficult to hold the bayern offense. Bayern lack a tighter defence (luiz gustavo was a great addition to the defence), so i guess inter might score in a counter-attack, but offesively Bayern has more creative and fast players. Im guessing that Bayern will score twice.

Inter 1 Bayer 2
Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller (Arjen Robben) will score. Samuel Eto'o scores in a counter-attack.
Bayern takes the upperhand.

Posted by Tunde Maryland on 02/23/2011

Bayern is an average team at best, they are eleven points behind Dortmunt who does not have even have a single superstar,in a mickey mouse league like the Bundesliga, I see a rout in this game 4-0 to Inter.when your best player is Robben, then you have a problem, he has never impressed while playing in more competitive leagues like la liga and EPL.

Posted by boostman on 02/23/2011

my ideal Bayern Line up for this game would be:

o Gomez

oMuller

oRibery oRobben


oPranjic o Shweinsteiger

o Luiz Gustavo oBardstuber(Breno) oTymoschuk oLahm

oKraft

Posted by Jorge on 02/23/2011

I think it will be 1-4 Bayern!

Posted by Pietro on 02/23/2011

2:1 but will hope for higher score :-)

Posted by Austin on 02/23/2011

4-1 Bayern is a fantasy. Inter's defense might be weakened with the loss of Samuel but it doesn't make it as a big of a joke as Bayern's. Inter rarely has games that go higher than 2-1 either way, they aren't a team that pushes so heavily that they aren't responsible at the back - very much the opposite in fact.

Posted by Omar on 02/23/2011

Inter 2-1 Bayern

Posted by joshyo on 02/23/2011

As a neutral, I see Bayern being the stronger team. Inter will need to be at their best to avoid a defeat.

Posted by FobaSocer on 02/23/2011

Sorry, Inter Milan's fans!

Your team lost!

And you, too!

Posted by Massimo on 02/23/2011

In my opinion it was an even game with a slight edge for bayern, hence the 0-1 outcome was ok. gustavo was great, almost eliminating Sneijder entirely. Ribery was ok, but he'll have to get his game up for the game in Munich. Robben was good but not outstanding, he can play better. Muller got pretty much taken out by the Inter defense. Good chances on both sides with bayern being lucky that kraft had an amazing day. Inter's best friend had to be the goal post. On the Inter side, Lucio had an amazing game, I still can't believe Bayern let him go for nothing. Overall, it's gonna be a tough game for Inter in MUC since they'll be forced to switch to a more offensive playing style.

Posted by Kit on 02/24/2011

Bad prediction..to bad so sad! :( finito!

Posted by Johnny on 02/24/2011

Well only a few people saw the loss of Inter's key playmaker in Jose Mourinho. So Leonardo has set the team up to attack but forgot about defence. In CL the better teams grind out first leg results then pressure the last leg their way. On the back of this result Inter will not win the CL this year.

Posted by Aminu Ahmadu on 02/24/2011

tunde u r a fool! U 4got robben in mourinho's chelsea against barcelona, u 4got robben rescuing madrid for evry 1-0 win, & u call ursef a fanatic. Bayern is too big to b called an average team, no small team in last 16, u saw wat happened to ROMA cos they underated shakter, Bayern players r all first choice for their countries or u think say na aiyegbeni's dey munich. Pls tel me ribery, robben & sweiny's replica in world football today....they r hard to find & bundesliga has d highest viewers in europe go & check frm statistics b4 u start blabbin lyk a political thug.

Posted by Aminu Ahmadu on 02/24/2011

tunde u r a fool! U 4got robben in mourinho's chelsea against barcelona, u 4got robben rescuing madrid for evry 1-0 win, & u call ursef a fanatic. Bayern is too big to b called an average team, no small team in last 16, u saw wat happened to ROMA cos they underated shakter, Bayern players r all first choice for their countries or u think say na aiyegbeni's dey munich. Pls tel me ribery, robben & sweiny's replica in world football today....they r hard to find & bundesliga has d highest viewers in europe go & check frm statistics b4 u start blabbin lyk a political thug.

Posted by Usman Umar on 02/24/2011

Hi Tunde. Hope you'll be humble enough to eat your earlier writtrn words.

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