Inter v Shalke Champions league quarter final preview
Well after the farce that was the derby on Saturday let’s hope that Inter pull themselves together and sort out their defensive strategy for their Champions league quarter final match tonight against Shalke, i’ve said it alot this season that Inter’s defense without Walter Samuel is dodgy at best. Our other defenders like Lucio & Ranocchia on paper should be more than capable of stopping most attackers but the all out attack mentality that Leonardo has brought to the Inter team means there isn’t sufficient cover at the back and small mistakes are becoming very costly.
Leonardo selected 21 Nerazzurri for the UEFA Champions League 2010/11 quarter-final first leg between Inter and Schalke 04, scheduled for Tuesday 5 April at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan’s San Siro district (20:45).
1 Julio Cesar, 12 Luca Castellazzi, 21 Paolo Orlandoni;
2 Ivan Cordoba, 4 Javier Zanetti, 13 Maicon, 15 Andrea Ranocchia, 23 Marco Materazzi, 26 Cristian Chivu, 55 Yuto Nagatomo;
5 Dejan Stankovic, 8 Thiago Motta, 10 Wesley Sneijder, 14 Houssine Kharja, 17 MacDonald Mariga, 19 Esteban Cambiasso, 20 Joel Obi, 29 Philippe Coutinho;
9 Samuel Eto’o, 22 Diego Milito, 27 Goran Pandev.
Leonardo was then asked about Raul: “He’s a player with an incredible history and, judging by his decision to change, he’s taken up such a different challenge with so much enthusiasm. He’s one of the symbols of Schalke’s great cavalcade.
“Losing the derby? A defeat never comes about for one reason alone, just as, I don’t think, a tactical problem can lead to going a goal down after 47 seconds. I respect everyone’s opinion here, but there are many factors to be considered: for example in the first half we had three chances to their two, but the goal never came. There are always a lot of variables. If you’re losing and your team are geared to attack, you continue to attack. However there are a lot of aspects to be taken into consideration. And I don’t think it’s a question of temperament or psychological approach. And besides, I still think this is a team that can adapt itself to play in many different styles. What are my feelings after the defeat? There’s the bitter taste that comes with losing, but this team have always responded positively and I’m convinced they will do the same this time,” said the Nerazzurri coach, commenting on Saturday’s defeat.
A question on Diego Milito’s return to the team was inevitable: “Milito has spent a long time recovering from injury and he has reached the stage where he has to undergo further preparatory training, just like in summer. I think he’s at a good stage at the moment and is ready and able to put in a good performance.
“I’ve never won at home in the Champions League? These are different types of matches. Statistics don’t count for much here. I don’t analyse things like this because they have nothing to do with the games,” replied the coach.
“Schalke have changed coach but I don’t think their style of play will have changed much and they are playing well,” was what Leonardo had to say about their opponents tomorrow.
“Having qualified in the way we did certainly gives us a boost because we showed that we never give up and we want to keep on doing that,” added the coach recalling the victory against Bayern Munich.
“It’s not that I think we are in the running to win everything; we are still in the running for everything. Losing one match doesn’t change anything, otherwise we wouldn’t even have got this far. This team have pride and that pride says they are there, always there and will take this competion on, in the knowledge that each game is going to be tough, just like it was last year,” said Leonardo in conclusion.
Diego Milito is the player selected by Leonardo for the press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League 2010/11 quarter-final between Inter and Schalke 04.
“Schalke 04 are a good team and we respect them. You don’t get to the quarter-finals by being lucky and they won’t be an easy team to play. But we want to play well tomorrow and win,” said the Nerazzurri forward at the beginning of the press conference.
“I’m well psychologically and physically, too,” added Milito. “I’ve got my fitness back, all that I’m missing now is match practice. But I’m eager and am glad to be back. The derby? We’ve put that behind us. We are only concentrating on tomorrow. We’ll try to dictate play, as we always do, especially after losing a match. The team really want to play well this time. We don’t have to prove anything to anyone. We’ve been in control up to now and we want to continue like that. What’s the atmosphere like? It’s good, we are geared up for this match and we know we can get through to the next round. We are inspired by our motivation and our tranquillity.”
“It’s been a difficult season for me and I’ve been plagued by injuries, but there are two months left to play and I hope to convert my anger into positive energy to score and to play well. Will I be scoring on the road to Wembley? What’s important is to get there, that Inter get there, not that I do it with my goals,” concludes Milito.