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Champions League preview: Schalke v Inter Milan

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Apr 2011

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Reigning European champions Inter Milan face an uphill battle to progress to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals at Schalke on Wednesday.

The Italian giants gave up two leads in their home tie at the San Siro before eventually succumbing to a 5-2 defeat.

Schalke exposed numerous holes in the Inter defence and three second-half goals have put them on track to go through to their first semi-final.

The Bundesliga outfit is unbeatable in European competition at Gelsenkirchen, winning all four games at home.

Italian sides have a winless record at the venue with Schalke winning three and drawing two of the five games.

Beginning with their 3-1 defeat of Valencia in the last phase, Schalke have won five of their last six outings in all competitions.

The loss to Schalke capped off a poor period of four days for Inter, who first lost to AC Milan to drop further behind in the Serie A title race.

But at 2-0 win at Chievo on the weekend kept their slim hopes of winning the title alive.

Leonardo’s men did come from behind to beat Bayern Munich in the previous phase, but it was a one-goal deficit rather than the three they face this time around.

It would be a historic result if Inter were to advance, with only one other team ever achieving the feat in UEFA competition – Dinamo Bucharest overcoming a 3-0 forfeit first-leg defeat against Czech side Slovan Liberec.

Leonardo reportedly offered his resignation to Inter president Massimo Moratti after the first-leg defeat and the pressure is firmly upon him at the highly successful club.

With goals needed, strike duo Samuel Eto’o and Diego Milito will need to be on form in Germany.

Milito was on the scoresheet in the first-leg, but he missed a glorious chance to put Inter up for a third time early in the second half.

The Germans are a pressing and attacking side and with attackers like Raul Gonzalez, Edu and Jefferson Farfan, it is hard to see them playing otherwise.

Another early goal could help Inter set the trend, but they will need to keep a clean sheet in order to make up for their first-leg drubbing.

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