Tuesday, April 20, 2010

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS ................

Opposing Barcelona is not a good long term policy and a quick route to the poor house, but I find it impossible to pass up Internazionale the Italian champions, on home soil, getting a handicap start. Even more so, when the Catalan giants, who usually look for the win in every start, will surely be delighted to return to Spain with the tie all square and could even possibly live with a 2-1 reverse.

The visitors have been unable to fly to Milan and have made the 600 mile road trip in two parts, driving to Cannes on Sunday and completing the journey yesterday. That will be a minimum ten hours on the bus and it is very rare for Spanish clubs to make any trips of more than a couple of hours by road, so it will be interesting to see how they shape up, both here and at the weekend, if they have to travel home the same way.

Inter have looked impressive recently and doubtless, master tactitician Jose Mourinho will have a plan to stifle the creative talents of Messi, Xavi et al. His side have stepped up a gear or two since the competition entered the knockout stage and will take heart from the group game here, which despite Barce having the best of, ended 0-0. JM will have learnt from those two games and his team certainly seem on a different level confidence wise now, full of the self belief that the Portugese coach has himself in abundance. They have not had to travel and have had a full day's extra recovery time from the weekend league fixtures and three clear days on the training pitch to fine tune their game plan, whilst the Barce superstars have been working on their "wheels on the bus" harmonies, so advantage Inter in that regard.

I took them earlier in the week, with the half ball (update:quarter ball !! sorry, this was a typo ) option and whilst odds on this have dropped a little, it still looks the best way to play this game.

Good Luck.

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