Inter Milan vs. Chelsea Preview and Tip

Inter Milan vs. Chelsea 2:45 PM EST Tuesday, March 16, 2010, Stamford Bridge, London, England
by Jason Green at

Match Odds: Inter Milan 5.00 / Chelsea 1.60 / Draw 3.60
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Inter Milan +4.75 / Chelsea -180 / Draw +280

Bet this match at the web’s best online soccer bookmaker: 5Dimes.

In the all-important 2nd leg of this Champions league tie Chelsea hosts Inter Milan for the right to play in the quarterfinals. Inter Milan has been a major disappointment in the Champions League for the past few season despite their success in their domestic league. However, they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Milan in the 1st leg even though Chelsea scored an important away goal.

Chelsea has not made the semifinals of the Champions League only one time in the last 6 seasons. Chelsea is 2 points behind Manchester United in the English Premier League, but they have a game in hand. They are 3-2 in their last 5 matches and they are the big time favorites in this match, as Stamford Bridge is one of the toughest venues in the world for opposing teams to leave with a victory.

Inter has not advanced past the round of 16 in the Champions League in the last 3 seasons and in the last 2 seasons they have lost to a team from England. Inter must play good defense in this game, as Chelsea will come out on the attack from the opening whistle.

One major story line for this game is the return of Inter’s head coach Jose Mourinho who used to be the coach of Chelsea and only lost one time while at the helm of the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

This season in Italy’s Serie A Inter Milan has scored 53 goals and given up 25 and in England’s Premier League Chelsea has scored 69 goals and have given up 27.

Chelsea Recent Form:
3/13/2010 Chelsea 4 West Ham 1 (Premier League)
3/7/2010 Chelsea 2 Stoke City 0 (FA Cup)
2/27/2010 Chelsea 2 Manchester City 4 (Premier League)
2/24/2010 Inter Milan 2 Chelsea 1 (Champions League)
2/20/2010 Wolverhampton 0 Chelsea 2 (Premier League)

Inter Milan Recent Form:
3/12/2010 Catania 3 Inter Milan 1 (Serie A)
3/7/2010 Inter Milan 0 Genoa 0 (Serie A)
2/28/2010 Udinese 2 Inter Milan 3 (Serie A)
2/24/2010 Inter Milan 2 Chelsea 1 (Champions League)
2/20/2010 Inter Milan 0 Sampdoria 0 (Serie A)

For Chelsea Deco and Yuri Zhirkov should be match fit after recovering from injuries, but Jose Bosingwa, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien are all out with long-term injuries. Ricardo Carvalho has an injured hamstring and is likely out for this match. The big news for Chelsea is that star goalie Petr Cech and backup Henrique Hilario are injured and 3rd stringer Ross Turnbull will likely get the start in the goal for this huge match.

Defenseman Marco Materazzi is back from injury and should play in this match, but Cristian Chivu is hurt and will not play.

Inter played solid defense at home and they will have to do the same in this match. G 5 Julio Cesar has 4 clean sheets in his last 10 games and he will be peppered in this match and I don’t expect him to keep Chelsea scoreless.

The Inter Milan defense really has to key on Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who has played great this season. He has 21 goals and 6 assists in 24 Premier League games and 3 goals in the Champions League. He was not much of a factor in the 1st leg in Milan and he will look to make up for that in this match.

Chelsea’s offense has been clicking, as in 3 of their last 7 games they have gone Over the posted total of 2.5 goals.

Samuel Eto’o and Diego Alberto Milito are Inter’s main strikers and if they score an early goal Milan will be in good shape. I look for one pf these players to score in this match since Chelsea will be pushing up on offense. Milito has 2 goals this season in Champions league play and I think he will likely add to that total in this match.

Jason’s Tip: The odds are against Inter in this match, but I think this is their season in the Champions League. I think that Inter will play a stellar game on defense, as I see them winning 1-0 or playing to a 1-1 draw, which will see them through to the final 8.