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Champions League Preview: Inter – Tottenham

Written by Viorel Mesca

Spurs are ready to face “the big test” as they travel to Giuseppe Meazza to face European defending champions. It is definitely the toughest challenge for the London-based club and one could argue that Rafa Benitez has the edge over Redknapp due to home advantage, experience in Champions League ties and the excellent form of Samuel Eto’o.

Inter are currently lying in third place in Serie A after seven games and they will be looking to Cameroonian international Samuel Eto’o to provide Inter with goals tonight. Rumor has it that Harry Redknapp has asked William Gallas to man-mark Samu. Will Gallas be enough to stop Eto’o from scoring?

According to, Harry told reporters:

“We’ve got to be aware of Eto’o,. I followed Eto’o when he was at Real Mallorca; I was the manager of West Ham.

I watched him, I think, about nine times. Every Sunday, I went to watch him play and I was interested in taking him to London eight, nine years ago maybe.

I know all about Eto’o; he’s a fantastic player.

It was a great deal for Inter; what an amazing deal to swap him (with Zlatan Ibrahimovic).”

Another threat for Harry’s lads will be the presence of Inter’s gifted playmaker Wesley Sneijder, as the Dutch player already expressed his desire to show his class with another outstanding performance.

Still, Rafa has some injury worries with Diego Milito, Esteban Cambiasso, Mancini and McDonald Mariga all definitely ruled out of tonight’s game. Furthermore, Thiago Motta and Jonathan Biabiany are doubts after suffering knocks against Calgari at the weekend.

According to, Benitez took the time to speak about the game and Spurs:

“I’m really happy with my defenders. We have conceded very few goals, which gives you confidence and means most of the time you’re going to win. Tottenham have changed a lot since I last faced them with Liverpool. They have spent a lot and now they have quality and want to do well. It will be tough to beat them, but we will do our best.

It’s always tough to move to a new team that have won a lot, as Inter did last season, but the players seem to be happy because I have kept the formation they are used to. We are working to improve, especially concerning ball possession.”

On the other hand, the north London side must cope with the absence of Rafael Van der Vaart and it seems Redknapp relies  heavily on the shoulders of Luka Modric to steal the show tonight, Spurs’ manager confessed to reporters:

“Obviously, he (Van der Vaart) changes the way we play.

We played one system when Rafa was playing and it suited him fine. He’s not here but the other players can play the same type of role.

Luka Modric is a world-class player, so he could easily slot into that same role that Rafa plays.”

Spurs will also be without captain Ledley King, who came off in the first half against Fulham on Saturday with a groin strain, and long-term absentees Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson. It will be interesting to see if Redknapp decides to throw in former Inter player, Robbie Keane.

Spurs are currently in a good form, their confidence must be sky-high after coming from behind to win against Aston Villa and Fulham and thrashing Twente 4-1 at White Hart Lane but I think they will lose this one.

Prediction: 2-0 win for Inter.

Dear readers, have your say! Do you think Spurs can upset Inter tonight?

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