UEFA Champions League defending champions Inter Milan will have to deal with Germany’s resilient Werder Bremen and new Champions League faces Tottenham Hotspur. Meanwhile, Real Madrid will need to battle against AC Milan in the group stages of the tournament for the second year in a row.
Luis Suarez’s Ajax and Zenith’s murderers Auxerre will also try to get in the way of the nine-time European champions. LiveSoccerTV.com takes the time to analyze the UEFA Champions League’s two fiercest groups – Group A and Group G.
Led by Rafael Benitez who experienced 6 years of English Premier League football, Inter Milan will curiously be followed when they will take on the field at White Hart Lane to play Tottenham Hotspur. For the Londoners, it will be a honor to host the competition’s reigning champions in their first ever UEFA Champions League season.
Rafael Benitez had a tough time helping Liverpool defeat Tottenham Hotspur during his last couple of years at Anfield. He will certainly remember how Harry Redknapp’s men narrowly triumphed over the Reds during the 2008/2009 season where Liverpool finished so close in the standings behind eventual English Premier League winners Manchester United.
In general, Inter Milan are expected to have things difficult against Tottenham Hotspurs – especially if the Londoners don’t encounter serious injury problems ahead of their clashes against the Italians. In England, all eyes will be on Jose Mourinho’s successor, Rafael Benitez, as he will try to get the job done for Inter Milan.
However, Tottenham Hotspur aren’t the only team that might pose troubles to Internazionale’s ambition of topping Group A. Werder Bremen’s name should be underlined as a team potentially good enough to upset the Italian giants. The Germans got rid of aggressive Seria A side Sampdoria in their play-off tie to make it into the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
After winning 3-1 at home before losing 3-1 away to eventually sort things out through the extra-time period, Werder Bremen have certainly learned a lot – not only about Sampdoria, but about Italian football in general. So expect their “Italian experience” to make it hard for Inter Milan to run away with maximum points.
Now if Inter Milan don’t fail to live up to expectations, you would love to think that Werder Bremen and Tottenham Hotspur will engage in a great fight to grab the second and last qualifying spot in the group. Meanwhile, the majority would tip FC Twente to finish nothing more than fourth or else vie for UEFA Europa League qualification at most by grabbing the third spot.
On this note, would the public be exposed to a real shock? Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur, FC Twente: which of these four teams will make it into the Round of 16? Who will find UEFA Europa League consolation? Who will be forced out of Europe after only six matches?
AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, and Auxerre… Group G, like it was during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, is definitely the group of death. Football fans might have been more excited to see Real Madrid paired with either Cristiano Ronaldo’s previous club Manchester United or Jose Mourinho’s former team Chelsea.
However, this doesn’t mean that the AC Milan vs Real Madrid clash won’t be a mouthwatering one. As the focal point, the ‘Special One’ will renew his rivalry against Inter Milan’s foes at the San Siro. Last season, the Spanish giants got tamed by the Rossoneri at the Santiago Bernabeu while they could only draw in Italy. But Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho will certainly not be the same as Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Madrid.
The man to watch in the Champions League for Los Blancos is not Cristiano Ronaldo or Mesut Ozil, but the coach, the Special One, Jose Mourinho. The living legend made history with Inter Milan, and his experience against Italian teams is one of the main reasons why Real Madrid are tipped to fight a real fight against AC Milan this term.
Meanwhile, Ajax and Auxerre could pull out stunning results. They will try to enjoy their European season and perhaps even take down to earth one of the table’s two giants – AC Milan or Real Madrid.
So both Inter Milan and AC Milan will have difficult battles to overcome before reaching the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League. As they prepare for this season's interesting European campaign, they also have to get ready for the 2010/2011 Italian Seria A competition.
Scudetto champions Inter Milan will visit Bologna at 14:45 EST on Monday, August 30 while city rivals AC Milan will entertain Lecce at 14:45 on Sunday, August 29.
Go here for further details concerning Inter Milan and AC Milan's respective opening match of the Seria A: Bologna vs Inter Milan Live Streaming and TV Schedule page; AC Milan vs Lecce Live Streaming and TV Schedule page.