The road to Wembley begins tomorrow night when Europe’s finest take to the pitch on match day 1 of the UEFA Champions League 2010/11 season. With Manchester United, Barcelona, Lyon, Valencia, Schalke, Bremen, Tottenham all in action, most attention will be focused in the Netherlands where defending champions Inter Milan face FC Twente.
The Nerazzurri are looking to be the first team in the tournament’s history to successfully retain the cup since inception of the new tournament format in 1992. Of course many including myself consider Inter favourites to win the match however, their Dutch opponents cannot be underestimated. In fact, all teams that have made it to the Group stages should be considered as potential finalists.
Gaining their first win of the season on Saturday, Inter are slowly adjusting to life with their new coach Rafa Benitez. The Serie A champions narrowly edged out Udinese at the San Siro to calm the nerves of their over expectant fans.
Under Benitez the Italians will likely use the 4-3-2-1 formation with Milito upfront as the lone striker. Former Coach Jose Mourinho perfected this formation and it was largely responsible for their treble trophy success last season, however, Benitez is finding it hard to produce the same results.
FC Twente on the other hand are the reigning Dutch Eredivisie champions and they have the advantage of opening their Champions League account at home. Coach Michel Preud’Homme who was only appointed last summer will be keen on securing all the 3 points on offer to increase their chances of progressing through to the Knockout stages.
The Dutch will play a 4-3-3 attacking formation with Bryan Ruiz and Marco Janko leading the charge upfront. Group A’s other teams are Tottenham and Weder Bremen. FC Twente are consider the underdogs in this group and so they have nothing to lose going into tomorrow’s match.
Probable line up
FC Twente: Mihaylov; Wisgerhof, Tiendalli, Douglas, Janssen; Landzaat, Brama, Bajrami; Chadli, Janko, Ruiz.
Inter Milan: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Cambiasso, Zanetti; Pandev, Sneijder, Eto’o; Milito.
1-1 draw. With the best goalie award going to Csear and Maicon winning in the Defenders category, Twente will be lucky if they score more than one goal. Inter on the other hand might have some of the best individual players but we can never rule out the 12th player-the home crowd.
Photo credit: from cosmicx