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Champions League Semi-final: Barca-Inter

Consegna_Coppa_Italia. Inter-Roma 11/05/2006Barcelona-Inter.  Let the games begin. 

Some will say that this is the real Champions League title match.  Some will say that whoever wins this epic battle of the two premier squads from their league will also easily win the final.  Well I will not go as far as to say that (after all Bayern Munich beat Man U and Lyon defeated Real Madrid), but I do think this match-up will most likely decide the winner.  And the two sides have many similar story lines that have played out recently.

Inter is obviously the dark horse pick due to the fact that they have played mediocre league football the last few months and squandered a multiple game advantage over Roma.  The club has stepped up in the Champions League and Jose Mourinho is renowned for coaching up the big games, but the club has many more negative distractions to deal with heading into the match and it appears to have affected their form in Serie A.  With the great possibility that Mourinho will leave this summer to the highest bidder and the fact that the club has been inconsistent the last few months playing Barcelona today will be a great challenge for the side.

Barcelona has at times this year shown that they are human, but recently Lionel Messi has proven that he is in fact an alien being sent to Earth to score massive amounts of goals.  The guy is currently on a wave of success so great, I don’t know if it can be matched by any active footballer.  The way he carved up Arsenal’s defense was flat out unbelievable and although I think Inter has a stronger defense then the Gunners I don’t think it will matter.

Barcelona could be missing three or four critical guys in the second leg and I still expect them to win by multiple goals at home.  On the road today it might be a different story, but I think they will at least draw in Itlay and if they were to ever lose, I don’t think it would be by more then a single goal.

The Picks:

I have to pat myself on the back because last round I went 3/4 on the picks.  The only one I got wrong was Bayern/Man U and I missed the pick by one single goal scored by the Germans.  This week here is who I like:   

Final Two Match Prediction:  

Barcelona 4-2 over Inter        Bayern Munich 3-3 over Lyon

 photo credit: batrax