Battle Of The Dutch Masters: Revenge Part 2

The second act of the "revenge tie" of the UEFA Champions League heads over to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday as Bayern Munich aim to build on their 1-0 victory in the 1st leg over defending Champions Inter Milan. The Germans earned a dramatic win at the San Siro a few weeks back thanks to an injury time goal from Mario Gomez and more importantly secured the always vital away goal. Inter's title challenge came unstuck on Friday as they drew 1-1 at Brescia, which leaves them four points behind leaders AC Milan having played a game more.

Bayern on the other hand, romped to a 6-0 triumph over Hamburg on Saturday courtesy of an Arjen Robben hat-trick. But Bayern still lie outside the Champions League qualification spots in 4th place and are a full sixteen points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund. Bayern have never lost a knockout tie in Europe after winning the 1st leg away from home, while Inter have over-turned a 1st leg loss at home only on two occasions. More worryingly for the Italians, Ajax are the only side to have successfully overturned a 1st leg home loss in the Champions League era, way back in the 1995/96 semi-final against Panathinaikos. A place in the quarter-finals is at stake, so one can expect both sides to come out all guns blazing in what should be a cracker of a game.

Bayern Munich

The German Champions were rocked by the announcement made by Louis van Gaal earlier this week when he stated his desire to leave the club at the end of the current season. The Dutchman was vital to Bayern's rise last season but the side have struggled this year and are struggling to make it into the Champions League. On the pitch, the team responded by thumping Hamburg to close the gap on 3rd placed Hannover to just two points.

Bayern went on a three-game losing streak following the 1st leg victory, losing to Dortmund, Schalke and Hannover. But they finally put an end to the losing streak in impressive fashion as they pounded Hamburg into submission and could even afford to rest a few vital players towards the end of the game with an eye on Tuesday's game.

The 1-0 win in the 1st leg had all the trademarks of this current Bayern team - grit and imaginative attacking play. The return of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben has made a world of difference to the side, especially against top quality opposition. The front four of Thomas Muller, Mario Gomez, Robben and Ribery can send shivers down the spine of any defence. The deadly foursome, who have scored 58 goals in all competitions between them this season, will need to keep their good form going if Bayern are to progress into the quarter-finals. Inter are only a goal down in the tie and an early goal from the Italians could change the dynamics of the game.

Inter Milan

The Nerazzurri have been beset by injury problems with Lucio being the latest addition to the growing list. The Brazilian defender was substituted midway through the 2nd half on Friday after picking up a thigh strain and will now miss the game on Tuesday. Manager Leonardo is also likely to be without Diego Milito, who is yet to recover from a thigh injury. The loss of the experienced duo is a huge blow to a side that has struggled to replicate last season's enormous success.

Inter were actually fortunate to even get a point from the game against Brescia as Andrea Caracciolo missed from the penalty spot on the stroke of full time. Leonadro played a very strong line up on Friday but his side were made to pay for their missed chances yet again. In the 1st leg against Bayern, a dominant Inter were repeatedly denied by the brilliant Thomas Kraft in goal and the Germans had the final laugh as Julio Cesar's mistake at the other end handed Gomez the chance to clinch the winner.

Wesley Sneijder hasn't been at his sparkling best this season, struggling with injuries and loss of form. Sneijder apart Inter lack creativity in midfield and have had to depend heavily on Samuel Eto'o to get them out of tight situations this season. The Cameroonian has an impressive 30 goals to his name and on Tuesday night, the club as a whole will be pinning their hopes on him to successfully over turn the 1st leg deficit.

Related Articles:
Champions League 2009/10 Review
Sneijder And Robben Return To Madrid
An Historic Treble For Inter
Bundesliga To Get Extra European Place
Late Gomez Goal Sinks Internazionale

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