Tonight the self-proclaimed “Special One”, José Mourinho, returns to Stamford Bridge to take on his former side in a quest to book a spot in the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.

Inter Milan came out of the blocks early against Chelsea in the first encounter at the Giuseppe Meazza a fortnight ago. However, they hardly dominated the game, instead if was pure grit, heart and determination that saw the Nerazzurri restore their lead in the first leg after Salomon Kalou had cancelled out Diego Milito’s opener.

Despite Inter’s faltering form in the domestic league which has seen rivals AC Milan move within a point of the league leaders, expect Mourinho’s men to be fired up to the maximum.

The Nerazzurri blossoms in the face of adversity and has showcased that very fact on numerous occasions throughout the season – collecting points despite playing with numerical disadvantages. Although their never-say-die attitude and raw hunger hasn’t been on display in the domestic league in lately – partly coinciding with the Special One’s three-match ban – the victory against the Blues a fortnight ago broke down the mental stumble block that has haunted Inter for so long.

With two of footballs greatest tactical minds clashing once more it all comes down to how the two sides approaches the game. Inter may have won the first encounter, but a draw wouldn’t have been an unfair result considering the Blues’ performance at the Giuseppe Meazza. On top of that Chelsea has that valuable away goal, but is still aware that they need to score a goal in order to progress to the quarterfinals whereas a draw is enough for the visitors.

Without the blip against Manchester City a few weeks ago, Chelsea has showcased good form in the league and is currently two points off the pace with one game in hand. On top of that the Blues’ record in the Champions League in extremely impressive seeing as the London club have failed to make it into the semifinals only once in the past six years.

Which tactics Carlo Anceloltti decides to apply tonight remains to be seen, but expect Inter to replicate their approach from the first encounter. Emphasis will be on defense in combination with a good work rate in midfield against the Blues’ sheer physicality while going on the counter when the opportunity arises. Most importantly, Lucio and Walter Samuel will need to contain Didier Drogba who is currently firing on all cylinders while the midfield feeds the right balls to Milito and Samuel Eto’o. On top of that the visitors will need to take advantage over the fact that Chelsea will start with their third choice goalkeeper due to injuries on both Petr Cech and Henrique Hilario.

Inter may have been written off by the British media, but for the first time in years, the reigning Italian champions have a genuine chance to make it past the final 16 which is where they have stumbled the past three seasons.

Chelsea (probable) 4-5-1: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Zhirkov; Malouda, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou; Drogba

Inter (probable) 4-3-1-2: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti; Cambiasso, Mariga, Stankovic; Sneijder; Eto’o, Milito

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