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Champions League Preview: Inter - Dynamo Kiev

Kick-Off: Tuesday, October 20, 20:45 CET.
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

Searching For The First Win


Inter are arguably the second best side in Group F after reigning European champions Barcelona, but statistically they are the third for the time being. The Italian champions have collected just two points from as many games, one point and one place behind Dynamo Kiev whom they confront on Tuesday evening.

If Inter's 0-0 draw with Barcelona on Matchday 1 exhibited their ability to play stubborn and 'effective' football, their draw with Russian champions Rubin Kazan demonstrated their vulnerability and weaknesses. Rubin should have probably won that game and Inter must feel fortunate to have come away from the cold with a point.

Jose Mourinho's side are leading the table in Serie A this season and have picked up form and momentum in the domestic arena. But their performance on the continental stage has left many pondering whether, like previous years, the Nerazzurri will fail prematurely in the Champions League.

Inter have to win against Kiev at the Giuseppe Meazza on Tuesday night to boost their chances of progressing beyond the group stage. Pressure is huge on the former European Cup winners and the players have to deliver in front of their own fans.

Going Steady And Strong

Dynamo Kiev have been impressive in the Champions League so far, their 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in Camp Nou notwithstanding.  If anything, Valery Gazzaev's side were stubborn in that game and provided resistance to the Blaugrana.

Inter at the San Siro will provide similar trouble, and perhaps even a point would be taken as a bonus, as this is an away game for the Ukrainian champions. Kiev's victory over Rubin Kazan at home on Matchday 1 has put them one point and one place above Inter, and a draw on Tuesday night would allow things to stay as they are in the group, assuming that Barca defeat Rubin at Camp Nou.

Kiev striker Andriy Shevchenko played under current Inter coach Jose Mourinho at Premier League side Chelsea and recently lashed out at his former boss, claiming that his "flop at Chelsea [was] Mourinho's fault". The Ukrainian international has been in good form so far this campaign and will be a key player for his side in Milan.


FORM GUIDE

Inter

October 17 v Genoa (A) - WON 5-0 (Serie A)

October 3 v Udinese (H) – WON 2-1 (Serie A)

September 29 v Rubin Kazan (A) – DREW 1-1 (Champions League)

September 26 v Sampdoria (A) – LOST 1-0 (Serie A)

September 23 v Napoli (H) – WON 3-1 (Serie A)

Dynamo Kiev


October 17 v Obolon (H) - WON 2-1 (Ukrainian Premier League)

October 4 v Arsenal (A) - WON 1-0 (Ukrainian Premier League)

September 29 v Barcelona (A) - LOST 2-0 (Champions League)

September 25 v Zorya (H) - WON 2-0 (Ukrainian Premier League)

September 20 v Metalist (A) - WON 2-1 (Ukrainian Premier League)

 

TEAM NEWS

Inter

Striker Samuel Eto'o missed the game against Genoa on Saturday because of injury but is expected to start on Tuesday evening. Mario Balotelli is not available for the game as he picked up a red card against Rubin on Matchday 2. With injury clouds hanging over Thiago Motta and Diego Milito, Jose Mourinho's side will be stretched.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Cesar, Maicon, Samuel, Lucio, Chivu; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Muntari, Sneijder; Stankovic, Eto'o

Dynamo Kiev

Andriy Shevchenko will be leading the line for Dynamo, but there is a concern as to whether first-choice goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy can recover from an inflamed oblique muscle.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Shovkovskiy, Eremenko, Almeida, Khaceridi, Betao; Yussuf, Ninkovic, Yarmolenko, Vukojevic; Shevchenko, Milevskiy

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wesley Sneijder (Inter)

The former Real Madrid midfielder has yet to set Serie A alight but his performance against Genoa on Saturday was pretty much perfect. He was the architect of several of Inter's attacks in that game and coach Jose Mourinho will want the Dutch international to play a similar role and inflict similar damage on the Ukrainians on Tuesday.

Andriy Shevchenko (Dynamo Kyiv)


The 33-year-old might not be the player he once was when he played for Milan, but Andriy Shevchenko has been scoring in the Ukrainian league this term. His 80th minute strike saw Dynamo defeat Obolon 2-1 at home on Saturday, and the former Chelsea player will be looking to do the same against Inter.


PREDICTION


Inter have discovered their domestic form and it remains to be seen whether they can transfer that to Europe. In all probability they should win on Tuesday, but it is not going to be an easy ride against a Dynamo side who gave the European champions Barcelona much to think about at Camp Nou on Matchday 2. But the hosts won't lose this match.

Inter 2-0 Dynamo Kiev


Subhankar Mondal, Goal.com