Inter Battle We Go

The last 16 of the UEFA Champions League has thrown up an all star clash with Chelsea drawn against Italian giants Internazionale.

More obviously, Carlo Ancelotti, formerly of AC Milan, clashes with former Chelsea coach and favourite, Jose Mourinho in one of the most eagerly anticipated matches in years. The San Siro is the venue for the first leg.

The war of words has started, with Mourinho commenting that the club has gone backwards since he departed and that the players are all but the same as the ones he brought in. Whilst there is an element of truth to this, the pre match bullying tactic is more than familiar.

Injuries have thrown up a problem at left back for Chelsea, with both Ashley Cole and his deputy Yuri Zhirkov out indefinitely through injury.

Paulo Ferreira played there in the second half of the win at Wolves, but he isn’t in Chelsea’s Champions League squad and thus misses out. Ancelotti has named the popular Juliano Belletti as the most likely left back, though Florent Malouda is also an option.

Inter are on top of Serie A and at such a canter that Mourinho is rumoured to be bored with Italian football and seeking a move to somewhere more lively in the summer.

Samuel Eto’o, so often a nemesis for Chelsea whilst at Barcelona, is now at Inter, whilst Wesley Sneijder and former Portsmouth midfielder Sully Muntari will play in midfield.

Ladbrokes have installed Internazionale as slight favourites at 13/8, compared to Chelsea at 9/5. The draw too is favourable, paying 21/10.