Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich - Champions League Knockout Stage, Giuseppe Meazza Milan, Italy 2:45 PM EST Wednesday February 23, 2011
by Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Inter Milan 2.30 / Bayern Munich +290 / Draw 3.30
Over/ Under: Over 2.5 goals (1.85) / Under 2.5 goals (1.85)
Moneyline: Inter Milan +130 / Bayern Munich +190 / Draw +230
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In the first knockout stage match for both clubs Inter Milan plays host to Bayern Munich. This is a sweet match up and it is also a match up of last year’s Champions League finals where Inter Milan won 2-0 and took home the coveted trophy.
This season both clubs have had their struggles and they are also pretty big long shots to win the Champions League. Inter Milan had a terrible start to the Italy Serie A league, but they have come on strong lately and they are in 3rd place in the league table 5 points behind AC Milan. Bayern is also in 3rd place, but repeating as Bundesliga champions is unlikely since they trail Borussia Dortmund by 13 points.
Bayern sailed through the Champions League group stage while Inter Milan struggled. However, since dumping former Liverpool head coach Rafa Benitez Inter’s offense has showed signs of life and they are starting to get healthy after a rash of injuries.
Inter Milan now has a clean slate starting the knockout phase and they have to play well in this match, as they have not been a good away club this season.
In their respective leagues Inter Milan has scored 47 goals and given up 29 and Bayern Munich has scored 49 goals and given up 27. Inter Milan will have to play great defense in this match facing a Bayern squad that has scored 7 goals in their last 2 matches. In their last 3 matches Inter has only given up 2 goals.
Inter Milan Recent Form
2/19/2011 Inter Milan 1 Cagliari 0 (Serie A)
2/16/2011 Fiorentina 1 Inter Milan 2 (Serie A)
2/13/2011 Juventus 1 Inter Milan 0 (Serie A)
2/6/2011 Inter Milan 5 AS Roma 3 (Serie A)
2/3/2011 Bari 0 Inter Milan 3 (Serie A)
Bayern Munich Recent Form
2/19/2011 Mainz 1 Bayern Munich 3 (Bundesliga)
2/12/2011 Bayern Munich 4 TSG Hoffenheim 1 (Bundesliga)
2/5/2011 FC Cologne 3 Bayern Munich 2 (Bundesliga)
1/29/2011 Werder Bremen 1 Bayern Munich 3 (Bundesliga)
1/26/2011 Alemania Aachen 0 Bayern Munich 4 (DFB Pokal)
For Inter Milan F Diego Milito and DF Cristian Chivu are likely out due to injury, but the big news has to deal with Wesley Sneijder. The Inter playmaker did not play in the Cagliari match and is doubtful for the Bayern match and his loss would be HUGE.
For Bayern G Rouven Sattelmaier and FW Ivica Olic are out with injuries, but the good news for Bayern is that MF Franck Ribry is back and healthy and played in their last match.
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Inter Milan will have to set the pace early in the midfield and that all starts with captain Esteban Cambiasso, who has been called “incredible” by new coach Leonardo. Cambiasso will have to control the ball in the midfield and help out on the attack, especially with Sneijder out.
Inter FW Samuel Eto’o tends to play well in the big matches and he will play great in this one. He will be facing a solid Bayern defense, but I think he will find the back of the net.
Bayern’s trio of Mario Gomez, Thomas Mller, and Arjen Robben have combined for 30 goals this season in the Bundesliga and they have been on fire lately. The Inter defense has been playing well and they will continue to do so. However, I do not expect G Jlio Csar to keep a clean sheet.
Jason’s Pick to Win the Match: Man, this is a hard one to predict. I am not going to lie I am a big Inter Milan fan and I am truly worried about this match, especially with how Bayern has played as of late. Even without Sneijder I think Inter will play well on their home turf. The match will be a close one and I see Inter winning by 2-1, but I would not be surprised at all if the match ended in a 1-1 draw.