CHELSEA vs INTER PREVIEW: SPECIAL ONE SET FOR LOSING RETURN – PREDICTED TEAM
By Football Talk.
Jose Mourinho returns to the Bridge tonight as his Inter Milan side try to hold on to their narrow 2-1 lead over Chelsea in the champions league. The self-confessed ‘special one’ is still much-loved in West London and will no doubt get a warm reception from Chelsea fans, but all friendships will be set aside as he tries to master-mind a famous victory over his former side tonight.
All the pre-match talk has centred around Mourinho’s return with the game being some-what of an after-thought. Jose has been making all the right noises in his press conferences, stating his love and respect for Chelsea and their fans but insists for 90 minutes he will cut all ties with his former employers.
“My celebrations will be restrained if we win out of respect. Because it’s Chelsea. Because it’s the team where I worked for three and a half years, the same people, the same players, the same supporters who made me feel incredible every time we played in this stadium.
“But don’t confuse this emotional control with professionalism. Don’t confuse this emotional control with a desire to win.
“Tomorrow, during the 90 minutes, I will give everything to try and help my team win. Players win matches on the pitch. Coaches just try and give a bit of help.
“I’ll try and do that. But don’t confuse my feelings for my ex-players and my ex-club with my desire and motivation to win this game.
“I feel at home here. I opened the door and walked through the door; I went to the second floor where there are people I know; to the third floor where there are people I know.
“But for 90 minutes I will know nobody. Before the game I know everybody and I love them, and after the game I know everybody and I love them. But for 90 minutes I know nobody.
Mourinho’s comments had everything you would expect from him, he clearly still admires the club, players and fans of Chelsea and doesn’t want to throw all that away with some silly pre-match hype.
Although Chelsea are 2-1 down from the first leg, i fully expect them to over turn this deficit and join Arsenal and Manchester United in the quarter-finals. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be too strong for Inter at Stamford Bridge. Inter equipped themselves well at the San Siro but with the away goal Chelsea should be favourites to progress.
Although Chelsea fans will be worried by the recent shaky form of their defense, and an Inter away goal tonight will lead to a very interesting game, especially if they manage to score first. So i expect a cautious start from Chelsea but as long as they get past 30 minutes without conceding they will fancy their chances. After all, a 1-0 win will be enough for them to progress tonight.
Ross Turnbull will continue in goal for Chelsea after Cech and Hilario both remain sidelined. Florent Malouda is expected to be played in a more attacking role after his MOM performance at the weekend, despite playing the first leg at left back. Yuri Zhirkov should replace him as Paulo Ferrara is ineligible for the champions league.
Ricardo Carvalho is fit again but may have to make do with a place on the bench after Alex made a goal-scoring return alongside Terry at the weekend. Deco should also make the bench after returning from injury, while he will be joined by the out of favour Joe Cole.
Carlo Ancelotti will still be without long-term absentees Bosingwa, Cole and Essien.
Possible starting eleven
Ivanovic Alex Terry Zhirkov
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