We have seen the powerful Inter of Mourinho, we saw it power through AC Milan with only nine men, we saw a war machine unleashed against Cagliari, demolishing them 3-0. But we have not seen this super style of play in the Champions League, Mourinho claims that this year’s Inter Milan team is finally his, leaving us to believe that this is the year to win it all. Inter Milan will also have to make sure they don’t forget about the Serie A, with a powerful Roma team returning along with Juventus and AC Milan having some good form, they could snatch points from a distracted Inter.
The two upcoming games are key for the Italian champions, this weekend they face Sampdoria, the only team that beat them in the Serie A at home. Sampdoria has reinvigorated itself after their coach Luigi Del Neri decided to drop Cassano from the starting 11 because the team was too dependent on him. Since then, in their last four matches, they have gotten four wins, giving a new more complete style of play to the team. But just because Sampdoria have dropped Cassano doesn’t mean they don’t have their stars and game-changing players, Pazzini is one of the most dangerous strikers in the world, and paired alongside the young Pozzi, the attacking pair have little difficulty in scoring. They also have a powerful midfield consisting of the speedy Guberti and Mannini, and the physical Palombo, these three create space with their agility and have deadly long range shots. This match could prove more difficult than Inter thinks, and if Jose Mourinho is thinking about the Champions League and puts out a weakened side, it could be costly, especially with the teams chasing after them.
Juventus, Roma, and AC Milan have all found some good form recently and they all have winnable matches coming up, so if Inter does slip, these teams will probably reduce the difference even more. Although AC Milan lost in the Champions League to Manchester United, they created some fantastic scoring opportunities. It seems that Leonardo’s team can still snatch wins in the Serie A, on friday they beat Udinese 3-2 thanks to a fantastic performance by Ronaldinho. This weekend they face Bari who have only picked up 4 points out of a possible 15 in their last five matches, a winnable fixture for the rossoneri, no doubt. Juventus have picked themselves up too, winning at Genoa 3-2 thanks to an inspiring double by Del Piero, this could be the kick-start to their title challenge as they face Bologna, a win should be easy for Juventus. And finally, the team with probably the best form around, the Ranieri driven Roma, with six wins on the trot, it doesn’t seem like Catania will be able to stop them. If Inter Milan lose to Sampdoria and these three teams win, the title race will suddenly open up, especially thanks to AC Milan having a game in hand against Fiorentina, which if won could bring them even closer to overtaking the nerazzurri.
The hardest match of them all seems to be against Chelsea for Inter, probably the worst draw they could get, Jose Mourinho will be looking to prove a point to his former club. But do Inter Milan stand a chance against the physical side of Chelsea? I think not, although Inter Milan have shown their dominance and power in Italy, this has never been shown in Europe. However the side has changed a bit after the mid-season transfer window, Inter struck two fabulous deals, getting Goran Pandev for free and Macdonald Marigo for a cheap cost. Pandev was a fantastic replacement for Eto’o while he was away at the African Cup of Nations, and the 22 year old Mariga looks to be a signing for the future. If Inter don’t come out with two wins against Sampdoria and Chelsea, it could be game over for Inter’s Champions League hopes and maybe, Jose Mourinho.