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Inter action - 10/03/2003

Inter action
Bellamy - his pace will be key
   Craig Bellamy
   Kieron Dyer
   Alan Shearer
 Leagues & Cups:
   Champions League

It’s do or die in tomorrow’s Champions league clash at the San Siro, and although were’ve been in this ‘must win’ situation before, a repeat of the away win in Feyenoord will be a much tougher proposition. The major problem, and unlike the situation in Holland and in the recent game in Germany, is that Inter don’t need to win.

We all know about the Italian’s resilience and ability to strangle a game, and with the injuries, suspension, and ineligibility of the Inter strikers, it’ definitely going to be a very defence minded performance by the Milan side. I can see them sitting deep – which will nullify the threat of Bellamy’s speed – and they’ll just keep it very, very tight. The good news is that their defence is also suffering a bit from injuries, Materazzi limped off during the first ten minutes of their game at the weekend.

If Inter’s strength will be about their defence, then Newcastle’s is the ability to get forward and their ‘never say die’ attitude. I don’t think it’s going to be pretty, but it’s certainly going to be interesting. The weekend break will have done the lads a lot of good, they’ll be fresh and they’ll need no motivation. If the player’s aren’t up for this game, then they never will be - what a stadium, and with around 10,000 Geordie’s to back them, it makes for a tremendous occasion.

Another interesting aspect of the game will be Craig Bellamy’s reaction to the questions that are going to be asked of him. In December the Italian’s went out onto St.James Park with a game plan, and after a very short time it was ‘job done’ – with Bellamy walking off the pitch after being shown the red card. To say that he’ll be targeted for similar treatment is to state the obvious. How will he react this time? My money is on him to come through it, let’s face it, he must look back on that night as a horror show and it’ll still be haunting him now! If he’s learnt his lesson then now is the time to prove it. With his speed, and that of Kieron Dyer and Laurent Robert, we can open the Inter defence. Oh, and there’s also that guy who wears the No.9 shirt, how many goals did he score in his last Champions League game?

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