XT Post Number King
Teams: INTER & Tottenham Hotspur
Champions League Preview: Sporting-Inter
Sporting Lisbon - Inter Latest News | | News Archive
If this clash was a Champions League quarter final, it would by no means look out of place.
After all, we're talking about the Portuguese champions and a side that were only denied the Scudetto title by a defeat on the final day of the Serie A season. Still, one of these sides will be competing in the Uefa Cup this season.
Sporting's preparation for this match has been somewhat overshadowed by the whole Mario Jardel situation. Rumours were abound that the player had mean hospitalised due to his depression at the split with his wife, but the club have now said this is not the case. Nonetheless, the player failed to show for a medical assessment on Monday and is not in the squad for this game. He remains keen to get away.
The question is, how will his side cope without him in this clash? Well they'll bring in the Romanian striker Niculae who was prolific last season (seven goals in 16 games) only to get injured early on, but it's hard to replace a man who scored each of Sporting's last nine goals of the campaign. It also remains to be seen how Lazlo Bononi's men will cope without Hugo Viana. Time will tell.
The ongoing Ronaldo saga must surely have disrupted Inter's preparation for this most vital of matches. It is clear that the Brazilian wants to leave and that coach Hector Cuper will not stand in his way if he is desperate to go. The reasons behind his desired departure seem to be his need to return to Spanish football and his dislike of the more tactically disciplined Calcio. Shame if he does leave as he'll never be remembered as one of Serie A's true greats as he had every potential of becoming.
The vibes from the Inter camp have mainly been those stressing just how important it is to make it into the cash rich first phase of the Champions League- something Inter failed to do in the 1999/00 season when they were beaten by Helsingborgs at this stage. Luigi Di Biagio, Alvaro Recoba and Cuper himself have made a point of quite how vital to the Nerazzurri's season this game is.
But what of on the pitch matters? Fabio Cannavaro has every chance of making his debut in Lisbon following last Wednesday's ?5 million move from Parma.
"It's a possibility," says Cuper. "By that point he will have been through five full training sessions and with Parma he has already played two friendly matches."
The Argentine has also realised that Stephane Dalmat's best position is without doubt central-midfield. If the former Marseille man is given a fair crack of the whip this season, we could be talking about a regular in the French side by the end of the season. That's how much potential this man has.
soccerage :fero: beat sporting!!!
My heart = INTER...No Matter Win or Lose...
Zanetti : I still remember my first day at Inter. I arrived with a plastic bag with my boots inside and I crossed the crowd of fans who were asking who I was. That's where it all started.....