Guest written by Gareth Freeman
Manchester United’s Champions League tie with Inter Milan is for me the pick of the Champions League fixtures. Both teams are flying high in their respective leagues and it will be great to see Sir Alex against his old nemesis Jose Mourinho again. Mourinho is one of the few managers to have got the better of Ferguson on the majority of their meetings and I’m sure the United boss will be relishing the opportunity to get one over the special one.
Inter line up like any traditional Mourinho team. They play tight in defence but also play some neat attacking football. I watched the Milan derby earlier in the month and I was very impressed by their first half performance and they defended well to hold onto their lead. One thing is for certain, this will be a highly entertaining encounter.
Inter like to attack through the air and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an ideal target man. The Swedish striker also has very quick feet for a big striker and if he plays as well as he can Ferdinand and his defensive partner will have a tough job keeping him at bay. Brazilian Adriano seems to have upped his game under Mourinho and the United back four will be kept busy by Inter’s attack.
In the midfield Estenban Cambiasso provides cover for the Inter back line and United’s attack are going to have to be at the top of their game to get through Inter. Like any top Italian side they have a mean defence and have only conceded 18 goals this season. Maicon is a marauding full-back and could cause United problems down the flank. They also have a great keeper in Julio Cesar so scoring against the Italian league leaders will not be easy.
The first leg at the Giuseppe Meazza will be crucial, if United can take an advantage back to Old Trafford their job will be much easier. I think player for player United are probably the better side but in Mourinho they have a manager who knows United inside out. I think United will get past them but, aside from Barcelona, Inter could provide the holders with their most difficult test in pursuit of the Champions League trophy.
If your thinking of having an online football bet on the United game I quite fancy a draw in the first leg. I think United will emerge victorious over the course of two legs but a trip to Italy is never easy and Mourinho is an excellent tactician. My final betting tip would be for Barcelona to beat Lyon in France, Barca have looked absolutely amazing this season and I think they’ll brush aside the French champions with ease.