Who will triumph on the 24th of May 2010 at Santiago Bernabeu? A lot of folks thought that Real Madrid and Chelsea would be the finalists this year and yet both teams are already out of the competition. We are the Semi-finals stage right now so only four teams are left – Lyon, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Inter.
Of course everyone is favoring Barsa to win the CL this year and become the first team in the history of the competition to win it twice in a row. On top of that, they have the chance to win at the ground of their biggest rival which would make an eventual success even sweater. The odds for FC Barcelona winning the CL this year are now only 1.75 (at bwin) so there is definitely no value in this bet.
It’s hard to see Lyon winning the trophy but with odds like that, it’s not a bad idea to back them up. However, out of these four odds, the one that certainly has the greatest value to it is for Inter at 5.25. They haven’t won the trophy since 1962 so we are talking about a serious drought lasting nearly half a century. Considering the traditions of this huge club, it does look like an awful lot of time.
What makes Internazionale a real contender for the trophy, despite the fact they are playing Barsa, is Jose Mourinho. The Special One has already proven why he is held in such high regard by those who know football, because for the first time in over 10 years, Inter left a mark in Europe and now have 5 wins in a row in the Champions League. Something that they have never done before. They eliminated Chelsea beating them not once but twice. They are desperate for International glory so they will be running like crazy in the two-legged affair against Barsa.
A lot of people would say that Inter doesn’t stand a chance against the All-mighty Catalans and they sure have every right to say so seeing how they lost at the Camp Nou in the group stage. But no two games are the same in football and history has proven time and time again that the underdog often goes on top, especially when two teams meat again later on in a given competition. There is no doubt that Jose has done his homework and has his team fully prepared to stand up against Barcelona and be counted. They have learned their lessons from group stage matches and now it’s time for a surprise. Should Inter manage to eliminate Barcelona, they would be favorites against either one of Lyon and Bayern.
Jose Mourinho and Wesley Sneijder are the keys to Inter’s success in Europe. But there is more to Inter than those two as the team has the likes of the world’s best goalkeeper (Julio Cesar), the world’s best right back (Douglas Maicon) and one of the world’s most deadliest offenses – Diego Millito and Samuel Eto’o. Eto’o would be eager to prove to Barsa’s management they did wrong by selling him so it’s highly likely that he will on fire at the San Siro and at Nou Camp. Another bonus for Inter is the fact that Andres Iniesta won’t play in this tie as he got injured during training on the 13th of April and doctors expect him to miss at least a month.