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Schalke Inter Milan Betting – Champions Avenge ’97 Loss To Schalke

Posted by Todd Shale on 3/31/2011 5:00:47 PM
schalke inter milan betting

Online betting sites have been surprised by Schalke 04’s play in the Champions League, which is far different then their league play, and they are getting closer to their first European title since 1997. However, they’ll have to go through the team they beat back then, and Inter Milan will show why they’re the defending champions of Europe.

  • What: Soccer Betting
  • When: Tuesday, April 5th, 2:45 PM ET (at Inter Milan); Wednesday, April 13th, 2:45 PM ET (at Schalke)
  • Where: San Siro, Milan (Inter Milan); Veltins-Arena (Gelsenkirchen)
  • Pick: Inter Milan -310

What’s On The Line

Schalke is struggling badly in the German Bundesliga, but they’re doing fine in cup competition as they’re in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, and they’re also in the final of the DFB Pokal, Germany’s domestic cup. They’ve never won a Champions League, but they did win the UEFA Cup in 1997 (more on that later), and they’ve been dealing with manager problems after sacking Felix Magath and replacing him with Ralf Rangnick. They’ll be going up against the defending champions from Inter Milan, who are also chasing rivals AC Milan in Italy, and they’re also in the semifinals of the Coppa Italia, Italy’s domestic cup, which they also won last year, so Inter is still in the running for a second consecutive treble.

Offensive Matchups: Schalke Inter Milan Betting

Schalke has shown that they can score in the Champions League with three games of three goals, two at home against Lyon and Valencia. When it comes to European competition, their leader is Raul, even though Jefferson Farfan has scored one goal more than the Spanish legend in the competition. Raul has 69 goals in the Champions League, the highest total of all time, and he calms the team down with his intelligent movement and finishing touch in the penalty area. Winger Jefferson Farfan has looked inspired alongside Raul, but he has declared that he will leave the club after the season in favor of a move to Italy, which isn’t a good sign, and striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar has a knee problem. But outside of those three, no player has scored more than five goals in all competitions.

Inter’s attack is powered by the duo of Samuel Eto’o up front and Wesley Sneijder pulling the strings in midfield, but they also have a number of players who can chip in and score timely goals, such as Giampaolo Pazzini, Dejan Stankovic and Esteban Cambiasso. But it’s all about Eto’o, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions this season, and Sneijder, who hasn’t cooled off since his star turn at the World Cup while leading the Netherlands to the finals. Diego Milito is getting closer to his best as he has been nagged by injuries for most of the season. As long as Eto’o and Sniejder are in the side, Inter Milan is a danger.

Betting Edge: Inter Milan

Defensive Matchups: Schalke Inter Milan Betting

Schalke’s defense is the only reason they’re not further into a relegation battle in the Bundesliga, and goalkeeper (and captain) Manuel Neuer is being courted by the giants of Europe, with Manchester United looking for a replacement for the retiring Edwin van der Sar. The back four of Benedikt Howedes, Christoph Metzelder, Atsuto Uchida and Lukas Schmitz have played together a lot this season, so familiarity is there. But they don’t really have someone who sits in front of the defense. Joel Matip and Anthony Annan haven’t impressed this season, although Matip has been playing better.

Thiago Motta plays that role for Inter, although Cambiasso can as well, along with the occasional goal. The back four is marshaled by keeper Julio Cesar and captain Javier Zanetti, who forms a solid fullback duo with Maicon, although the Brazilian still has nightmares of being lit up by Tottenham’s Gareth Bale in the group stages. Lucio and Christian Chivu are in the middle, but Inter showed they can be breached by a team with dangerous wingers, like Bayern Munich. Still, Inter’s defense isn’t as good as they were under Jose Mourinho in last season’s run to the treble.

Betting Edge: Draw

Notable Injuries: Schalke Inter Milan Betting

Huntelaar (knee) couldn’t play for the Netherlands during the recent international break, and it’s going to be close for the striker to be ready for a team like Inter, although he could be ready for the second leg. The rest of the first-team squad looks to be in good shape.

The same goes for Inter Milan, which doesn’t bode well for Schalke’s soccer betting odds. However, they have a massive derby match against AC Milan this weekend and that is usually full of fireworks, so check the injury reports leading up to the game.

Betting Edge: Inter Milan

Outlook And Pick: Schalke Inter Milan Betting

Inter comes into this matchup as a -310 to advance over the two legs, while Schalke comes in at +230 despite having the second leg at home, which is known to be an advantage. These two have met four times, with Schalke winning twice, and that was in their last Cup win. Both teams won their home games 1-0 in the 1997 UEFA Cup final, but Schalke won the penalty shootout 4-1 in Milan to lift the trophy, and you can be sure that Inter will be reminded of that by their fans and the media. Schalke seems to get up for tournament play, but Inter has been excellent at home and showed the heart of a champion by coming back to beat Bayern Munich in Germany. Look for the Italians to jump out to a big lead in the first leg and comfortably cruise to the semifinals, so bet on Inter Milan in your sports betting picks for the Champions League.

Pick: Inter Milan

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