Inter Milan v Man Utd: Match Preview
Uefa Champions League, 1st Leg
Venue: San Siro Date: Tuesday, 24 February Kick-off: 1945 GMT
It is a clash of two heavyweights. Man Utd face Inter Milan in the knockout stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night, and no doubt it’s going to be a cracking match at the San Siro.
Last time United visited this ground, they were hopelessly crushed by AC Milan 3-0. A repeat of that result is unlikely at the Giuseppe Meazza, but with the likes of Adriano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic it will be difficult to keep them at bay. (Read more here)
United face a dilemma at the back, with Nemanja Vidic suspended, but Jonny Evans and John O’Shea has travelled with the squad after they were both doubtful for the game. Gary Neville, Wes Brown, Rafael da Silva are all out of contention. Fabio da Silva and youngster Adam Eckersley will be drafted in the squad as cover.
Jose Mourinho will no doubt be relishing this tie. Man Utd have won only once in twelve games when facing a side led by Mourinho (Porto or Chelsea), and the former Chelsea boss will want to carry that on. Inter style of play is very unique to the other teams in Serie A. They play long balls from the back looking for both their front two Ibrahimovic and Adriano as they are both very good in the air. They defend very tightly, as well as the threat up front.
Mourinho has brought back confidence in the side, Adriano for one. The Brazilian was out of favour last year, but has seen his fortunes turned right round. He has also signed Sulley Muntari from Portsmouth, and the midfielder has improved his game from what we saw last season.
David Beckham, currently as Inter rivals AC Milan, thinks that United should be wary of the quality of Jose Mourinho’s team.
“They have got good players all the way through their squad but I think the forwards are strong, they are quick and they can hold the ball well and they are not frightened so if you control them Man United have got a chance,” Beckham said.
“United have also got some players that can win games and also the defence is exceptional at the minute so that’s why it is going to be so tough.”
“As a Man United fan I’m on their side and also as a Milan player I’m on their side.
“I’ll be coming to the game, I’m sure I’ll speak to some of the players and the manager so I’m looking forward to it.
“United are favourites in my eyes but I am biased, the strength of their squad and the way they have been playing recently, they are on a run where they look unbeatable and I hope that continues.”
Man Utd Champions League statistics:
Nani, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tévez have featured in all six of United’s games in this season’s competition although none have played all 90 minutes.
United conceded just three goals in the group stage, the joint best record in the competition along with Juventus.
The Red Devils have managed 53 shots wide and won 48 corners to date, more than any other team.
United have collected only five yellow cards, fewer than any other team in the competition.
Inter Milan Probable team
Maicon - Chivu - Matterazzi – Santon
Zanetti – Cambiasso – Stankovic
Ibrahimovic - Adriano
Man Utd Probable Team
Van der Sar
Rafael – O’Shea – Ferdinand – Evra
Ronaldo – Carrick – Fletcher – Giggs
Rooney – Berbatov