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Inter Milan v Chelsea: The game we thought we'd never see and the world will be watching. My Preview.

Who would of thought a couple of years ago as we had just retained the Premiership Trophy we would be where we are today facing the "S...


Who would of thought a couple of years ago as we had just retained the Premiership Trophy we would be where we are today facing the "Special One" in the knockout stages of the the Worlds Biggest Club Competition. That's football I guess but if you ask any Chelsea fan deep down in their hearts, they will tell you its the game they wanted to avoid. Some of you may find it strange to be reading this but, the statement is from a sentimental stand point alone.

Jose Mourinho is and will always be a legend at Chelsea and I believe tonight and in a couple of weeks time in the return leg at Stamford Bridge he will receive the response from the fans he deserves. He is forever in ours and the players hearts without question, BUT, there is a job to do tonight.

I firmly believe Chelsea will get the job done no question, we WILL score at the San Siro tonight its a question of remaining water tight at the back and working hard defensively in Midfield and thats where the difference is in both teams and I will tell you why.

Ahead of the game tonight I sat and studied Inter Milan under Jose and their strenghts and weaknesses over the last 8 or so games and I put together this video to explain the main danger for us tonight but their defensive frailties and take a look for yourselves.



Of course Didier Drogba will be a HUGE influence in the game tonight as he always seems to be this season. He is approaching his best ever tally of goals in a Chelsea shirt this season and he is playing well. Didier will rattle their back four tonight and especially if as expected, he is directly up against Walter Samuel and Lucio. Samuel's discpline is suspect to say the least and tonight he will face THE test against Drogba.

But, as per my video the Inter Milan weakness is their midfield. This is where we can be and hope to be dominant tonight. You will see I put together a few examples of how their midfield like to get forward, but also get caught out of position. They miss the late run into the box Lampard-esq and get caught ball watching. The like to play narrow and rely on their full backs in Maicon and Cordoba to get forward. But the one thing that took my by surprise was the space their seems to always be behind their Midfield and in front of their back four. This is somewhere we can exploit tonight and can have a devastating effect on the game even in the first leg tonight.

With their Defence exposed by a lack of men tracking back when they have lost the ball, their Defence drops off and allows the opposition to move the ball forward and attack them. When they do decide to challenge the man with the ball they seem to leave their marking duties and at times throw two men at the same ball and this is where we can create more chances to score.

Inter are expected to line up with their three across the middle with Jose to decide betweeen Cambiaso, Zanetti, Motta, Stankovic or Muntari with Wesley Sneijder in front of them in the hole. Inter rely alot on Sneijder to create that killer pass or from dead ball situations so he will need to be watched. But, without the ball he isn't going to bust a gut to get back, and under pressure he is nowhere near as effective. We need to ensure he isn't given the time and space to play his passes and cause us problems.

With Mikel in front of the back four he provides stability and a reassurance on the ball. Lampard and Ballack have the perfect balance and are both work-horses in midfield and this is the biggest difference in the game. These two, with Mikel will work hard to defend, remain solid and can play abit too and Inter do not have anyone in the same mold as either of these two.

With Malouda and Anelka wide, we can attack their lack of natural width. Maicon likes to get forward and so Malouda will have to work hard but when he has the ball he can cause Maicon problems. Anelka can keep Cordoba busy so I believe he Cordoba, who is not attack minded anyway, will resist the temptation to get forward.

Inter rely heavily on Milito take make runs across the back four and down the channels. We have to watch him as he is on form and scoring goals, but as he plays to the left of Eto'o he will be up against the best in Carvalho and we need to make sure Riccy puts him in his pocket tonight. JT as always will need to have a strong game against Eto'o who to me anyway, doesn't seem to be the player he once was.

If we remain solid defensively and our Midfield without the ball work hard I can't see Inter Milan causing us too many problems from open play. Of course set pieces have let us down this season so we need to ensure we counter Inter's threat in the air from the likes of Lucio and Samuel when they come up for corners. No stupid or silly free kicks should be given away anywhere around our box as Sneijder can punish you.

TEAM NEWS:
Jose Mourinho will make a decision today whether or not to include Goalkeeper Julio Cesar after a recent car accident. He also has a decision to make on whether to employ Zanetti into the midfield from left back and bring in Ivan Cordoba to fill the void. Inter Milan are expected to line up in a 4-3-1-2 formation with Wesley Sneijder in the hole behind Milito and Eto'o.

Carlo Ancelotti welcomes back Frank Lampard, Alex and Belletti to the squad tonight with no recognised left back available for selection as Paolo Ferriera wasn't registered for the competition (great decison there eh!). Chelsea have Zhirkov, Essien, Deco and Bosingwa unavailable.

Carlo will select from:
Cech, Turnbull, Hilario, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, Alex, Bruma, Belletti, Mikel, Ballack, Lampard, J Cole, Malouda, Kakuta, Kalou, Sturridge, Anelka, Borini, Drogba.

RECENT FORM:
Inter Milan have been disappointing of late. They have drawn their last 3 league games on the spin and have shown a real lack of discipline with two defenders sent off in the first half at the weekend.

Chelsea come into the game with two victories against Cardiff and Wolves after the disappointing defeat at Everton.

PRE MATCH INTERVIEWS:
In a strange twist to normal pre match proceedings in the Champions League both Managers held their Press conferences at the same time, Carlo at the San Siro and Jose Mourinho at his training base a few miles away.

Jose Mourinho spoke ahead of the game, he said:

'I know Chelsea well, That doesn't mean it is easier, sometimes it is more difficult because when you know so much about a team, if you don't make a selection with information, if you don't decide what is the real information you need and don't give the right information to your new players about your old players, you can get in trouble. I played with Chelsea against Porto the next year after I left Porto and it was my team, my players. I knew everything about them and it was not easy. Chelsea won one game and we lost one.

'I think Carlo Ancelotti knows Inter very well. He has worked all his life in Italian football, he has played against Inter dozens of times. I think he knows everything about our players, I don't think it is an advantage. We could see two quality matches, I never remember seeing Chelsea play for 0-0 and I would be disappointed if my experienced players don't give a good match, but sometimes in football the quality of the players on the pitch doesn't correspond to the quality of the game. Inter are the same. It's a game which could be 180 minutes, but it may even be 30 minutes more.'

Carlo Ancelotti said:

"I think we are focused and will be on Wednesday on this important game, We will not change our motivation for this game, whatever happens outside our dressing room. I will respect Inter Milan like I always have in the past, We respect them, but to beat them we need to play at 100 per cent. But if they want to beat us they will also have to play at 100 per cent."

When asked about our problem left back area he said:

"It is a problem, We are missing two very important players but Belletti is back in training and doing well. We will find a solution but Ashley and Yuri are to be missed."

He was also questioned about the importance of Didier Drogba tonight and responded by saying:

"Didier is a very important player for us and has scored 25 goals this season, He is in a good moment but we cannot focus on one individual to win the game. We need to play well as a team."

John Terry spoke ahead of the game, he reiterates the players desire to get the job done. He said:

"I'm on a mission and nothing is going to distract me," a resolute Terry told The Sun. I'm responding by doing what I've always done - by looking straight ahead. I've got broad shoulders and nobody's going to knock me out of my stride. I want to win the Champions League and Premier League for Chelsea and help win the World Cup for England. I'm not ashamed to say it, I wouldn't be John Terry if I felt any differently."

"Jose was an inspiration to us all at Stamford Bridge and I truly value his friendship, It's going to be a sensational tie between two great teams but when I stick on the shirt tonight I'll be focused on one thing only - playing and winning for Chelsea. It's the way I play the game and the way I always will".

"There's a shirt on my wall at home - the shirt I wore when I missed that penalty against Manchester United in the Champions League final. It's there as a daily reminder to me of what I'm striving for. I won't rest until it's replaced by a winner's shirt - that's my pledge to every Chelsea fan who has stood by me and still believes in me as a player and as their club's captain. They have been brilliant, their support has been overwhelming and I desperately want to give them the glory they deserve. We may be playing the Special One, but those fans are the real special ones."

Terry went onto to speak about Jose and Carlo. He said:
 
"He is the Special One, Jose was the first one who referred to us as 'his' players. He brought us together with that. After Roman Abramovich took over the club, we were unpopular to say the least. People on the outside accused us of just trying to buy success. Mourinho was an overnight success with the players. When he arrived we were a nearly team. We'd finished as Premier League runners- up and not really got there. But he made a team out of a bunch of individuals and didn't care whether people liked us".

"Jose gave us that mentality of 'us against the rest' and it helped bind us together. He would always ask after our families, our kids - but he also kept that distance. Jose said once that you don't have to be the best team and you can still win the Champions League. In the last four or five years, we have found that out. We have been the better team yet still got knocked out. It reminds me of a World Cup, where you need that little bit of luck on your side to come away with the glory".

"Knowing how thorough he was at Chelsea, he'll have done his homework but he also knows us well enough. We're not exactly strangers. Carlo does the same. He's a great man manager but there's a line and you don't cross it. It's very much the boss and us but it's what we respond to and Carlo's a great boss. Carlo is determined to win this game. He too has a great reputation in the Champions League - as a player and a manager"

"It's not Carlo's team we are playing but it's his backyard at the San Siro. I want to go back there too and win it for Chelsea - no matter how special Jose is to me and Chelsea fans."

Its a rallying call to the players and to the fans about tonight and the will to win this competition that will be heard by the whole of Europe. A call that will no doubt be heard tonight by those 11 men that take to the field in what is the biggest game of the round and the one that everyone has been looking forward to since the draw was made.

One thing is for sure, Jose knows Chelsea and apart from Ivanovic and Anelka, knows our players and he will make sure his side are well aware of the threat posed by us. Inter Milan will be more worried about us than I believe we are about them. As that draw was made you can imagine there were gasps heard all around Italy as no one wants to play an English side in the knockout stages at the moment.

I predict WE WILL score at the San Siro tonight without question. The question is can Inter break us down?. Didier Drogba and our midfield to be well on top tonight and they WILL be the difference. Right now I will take a 1-1 but am very confident we will come away from the San Siro with a lead to take to Stamford Bridge.

CAREFREE & KTBFFH EVERYONE! COME ON THE CHELS!

ChelseaFan12.com

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