Inter Milan vs. Chelsea Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro), Milan Italy 2:45 PM EST Wednesday February 24, 2010
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Match Odds: Chelsea 2.75 / Inter Milan 2.70 / Draw 3.10
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Chelsea +180 / Inter Milan +155 / Draw +215
In a HUGE Champions league match at San Siro on Wednesday night Inter Milan hosts Chelsea. Both of these teams lead their respective leagues, as Inter has a solid 5 point lead over AS Roma in Italy’s Serie A and Chelsea has a 4 point lead over Manchester United in the English Premier League.
Inter has won the Serie A in Italy for 4 years in a row, but they have been a major disappointment in the Champions League. In 3 of the last 4 years they have failed to get past the 1st knockout round phase and in the last 2 seasons they have fallen to teams from the Premier League.
Inter is not in the best form, as they have played to a draw in 3 matches in a row and in those 3 matches they have only scored one goal.
Unlike Inter Milan Chelsea has been great in the Champions League, as in the last 6 years they have only not made the semifinals one time and they reached the finals in 2008 where they lost in a shootout. They have been great on defense not only in their domestic league, but also in the Champions league this season only allowing 4 goals in 6 matches.
Chelsea was drawn into a pretty weak Champions League group and easily made it to the knockout phase. Inter was in the toughest group and still made it out being grouped with domestic league champions from Russia, Ukraine, and Spain (Barcelona).
In their domestic leagues this season Chelsea has scored 63 goals and given up 22 and Inter Milan has scored 49 and given up 20.
Inter Milan Recent Form:
2/20/2010 Inter Milan 0 Sampdoria 0(Serie A)
2/14/2010 Napoli 0 Inter Milan 0 (Serie A)
2/10/2010 Parma 1 Inter Milan 1 (Serie A)
2/7/2010 Inter Milan 3 Cagliari 0 (Serie A)
2/3/2010 Inter Milan 1 Fiorentina 0 (Coppa Italia)
Chelsea Recent Form:
2/20/2010 Wolverhampton 0 Chelsea 2 (Premier League)
2/13/2010 Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1 (FA Cup)
2/10/2010 Everton 2 Chelsea 1 (Premier League)
2/7/2010 Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0 (Premier League)
2/2/2010 Hull City 1 Chelsea 1 (Premier League)
For Inter Milan Cristian Chivu is out with a long-term injury and both Marco Materazzi and Davide Santon will likely not play in this match due to injuries. One big worry is that G Julio Cesar, who has been fantastic this season, recently had a car accident and he may not start in this match.
Chelsea will get back Alex and Juliano Belletti, as both are back in action after missing time with knee injuries. Jose Bosingwa, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole will all not play in this match because of long-term injuries and Deco and Yury Zhirkov are also out for this match, but they will have Frank Lampard back.
Inter has yet to lose at home all season, as San Siro is like a 12th man for them and is never an easy place for opponents to come in and win.
Chelsea has a very strong defense, but with the world-class strikers of Samuel Eto’o and Diego Milito up front for Inter I see one, if not both, finding the back of the net in this match.
One player that the stellar Inter defense has to key on is Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who many think is currently the best striker on the planet. In 22 Premier league matches the player form the Ivory Coast has 19 goals and 6 assists, but I see him struggling in this game and not scoring.
In Inter’s last 5 matches they have only given up one goal.
Inter knows that they have to win this match at home and they will come out attacking from the opening whistle.
Julio Cesar is banged up and I think he will play and play well keeping a clean sheet for the home squad.
Jason’s Pick: Even though Inter Milan has been a disappointment in the past few seasons in the Champions League their time has come. They will come out on fire and play well, especially on defense, as they will win this game by a score of 1-0 or 2-0 having the advantage heading to Stamford Bridge for the 2nd leg of this tie in England.