Champions League: Inter Looking To Realise Mourinho Prophecy
Posted November 26, 2008on:
ROME: Inter Milan will be looking to wrap up qualification to the Champions League second round and fulfil coach Jose Mourinho’s (pic) prediction when they host Panathinaikos in Group B today (early tomorrow in Malaysia).
Back in September after the Italian champions were surprisingly held 1-1 at home by Germans Werder Bremen, their Portuguese boss claimed that he was confident his team would still progress to the knockout stages and before their return date with Bremen in early December.
Back then Inter had four points from two matches, having won impressively 2-0 in Athens, and four points from their two encounters against Cypriot surprise package Anorthosis Famagusta has put the San Siro based outfit on the brink of qualification.
A victory over the Greeks would guarantee Inter top spot in the group while a point would be enough to make sure their name goes into the hat for the second round draw in February as runners-up at least.
Only an unlikely defeat would see them needing to get a result in Bremen in two weeks time in order to progress.
Panathinaikos will be looking to try to snatch a point otherwise they risk seeing their interest in the competition end before their final home match against Anorthosis.
If the Cypriots win at home to Werder and Panathinaikos lose then Anorthosis will be assured of second spot in the group.
Last year Inter crashed out in the second round at the hands of Liverpool, who beat them home and away.
But Inter president Massimo Moratti claims there is no difference to their approach to the Champions League this season from any other.
“We always hope to have a team and a squad that is strong enough and has the necessary characteristics to challenge on two fronts and to win both competitions,” he said.
New Straits Times