Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

David Schiavone On May - 21 - 2010

Inter vs Bayern Munich: Champions League Final Preview

Champions League Final 2010

Jose Mourinho is on the verge of writing himself into Internazionale legend, the Portuguese coach has already captured the Serie A title and Coppa Italia this season, with plans to add the Champions League on Saturday, an unprecedented treble is indeed on the cards and the chance to end 45 years of heartache for the Inter faithful.

Not since Helenio Herrera took Inter to the final of the European Cup in 1967 have Inter graced the penultimate game of Europe’s premier club competition. Il Mago – The Wizard – won back-to-back titles in the 60’s and is regarded as their best ever coach, but if Jose can triumph over Bayern Munich in Madrid, he too will go down in Beneamata folklore.

In Madrid, Jose will go up against his former boss, Louis van Gaal, the Dutch master was in charge of Barcelona and took Mourinho under his wing before he flew the nest to go on and become the worlds most sought after coach.

With victories over CSKA, Chelsea and Barcelona on their way to the final, it can be said they have had a tougher route to Madrid given Bayern faced Fiorentina, Manchester United and Lyon, and have been somewhat fortunate in the decisions they have had in their favour from referees, something even van Gaal has admitted:

“I don’t think we are among the best teams in Europe. Inter, Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester United are the best teams around in Europe, not Bayern,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying.

“We are kind of lucky to have made it to the Champions League final. We have reached the final because of some refereeing mistakes that were in our favour. That’s why we really should be using cameras to support referees.” He continued.

Inter will likely start with three forwards on the pitch in Goran Pandev, Samuel Eto’o and the goal machine Diego Milito with former Real Madrid starlet Wesley Sneijder linking the play from midfield.

If Javier Zanetti starts, of which there is no question, he will make his 700th appearance for Inter, a great achievement from a magnificent professional and thoroughly nice chap. He will thus move up into midfield as Thiago Motta is suspended and Cristian Chivu slotting in at left-back.

If he scores, Samuel Eto’o would become only the second player in the history of the competition to score in three different European Cup finals after Alfredo Di Stefano.

Bayern Munich are also on course for a treble but will have to do without the suspended Franck Ribery. Though Mark van Bommel has tipped former Real Madrid man, Arjen Robben, to shine:

“The team knows how to play for him and he knows how to play for us. We compliment each other very well, everyone knows what to do in his position and Arjen is working very well. I love having him here,” van Bommel stated.

Aside from Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger has came into his own this season, dictating the play from the centre of midfield, he is central to the way Bayern play, finally fulfilling the promise of his early years.

One difficulty Inter will have if they decide to ‘park the bus’ is the ability of Bayern’s players to shoot from distance. Robben has already shown earlier in the tournament that he can smash a ball from 30 yards, Hamit Altintop, Mark van Bommel, and Schweinsteiger are no strangers to a long shot either.

One weak spot for Inter to exploit is the Bayern centre-back pairing. Both Manchester United and Fiorentina found plenty of gaps and this is something Mourinho will surely have noticed. Plus they have a solid foundation to build from.

Many are predicting a close encounter with Inter slight favorites, though there are many duels on the pitch and off it that will decide the outcome.

Possible Line-ups

Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Cambiasso, Zanetti, Sneijder; Pandev, Eto’o, Milito.

Bayern Munich: Butt, Lahm, Badstuber, Van Buyten, Contento, Altintop, Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger, Robben, Olic, Muller.

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