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Rupert Wyman 15th Mar 2010 - 21:06

Mourinho never loses at the Bridge

Mourinho was mobbed by the media and fans on his arrival back in the UK , he stated that he would tone down his celebrations should Inter knock Chelsea out of the Champions League due to his affection for  the club.

He returns to Stamford Bridge a messiah, he is adored by the Chelsea fans that grew used to success under his leadership.

His counterpart at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, Ancelotti is well respected in the Italian media and regarded as a gent.

The Italian media do not hold the same opinion in regards to Mourinho and would rather not mention him in the same breath as Ancelotti.

Mourinho has a different pressure thrust upon him since the first leg at the San Siro. The Italian fans are nervous turncoats, they are crying out for the Portuguese manager to defeat Chelsea over the two legs and for Inter to progress into the quarter-finals.

Should Inter leave for Milan defeated and dejected, there will be no Serie A side in the quarter-finals for two years in a row. Football's former superpower has had to play third fiddle to the Spanish and English league for a few years.

The national game in Italy is in terminal decline, it is almost bust and they are about to be demoted behind Germany to Europe's second tier in UEFA's ranking system. There is a chance, they will no longer be able to enter four teams each year into the Champions League.

Mourinho will be confident going into tomorrow's match, he will thrive on the notion that he could have the only Italian side in the next round and he believes he knows 'his' Chelsea players better than Ancelotti and can use it to his advantage.

Mourinho is aiming to win the Champions League with Inter, one trophy that he and Abramovich craved at Stamford Bridge but never won.

It is unlikely that the Chelsea players will be distracted by the return of the 'Special One' to Stamford Bridge, they were focused on the match at the San Siro and they will be equally on the ball at the Bridge.

Chelsea manager Ancelotti has confirmed that defender Carvalho will be in the squad to play Inter. Goalkeeper Cech will not take part in the clash and neither will his replacement Hilario, so young Ross Turnball will continue in goal for the Blues.  Ashley Cole is undergoing rehabilitation and will not play again until the end of the season.

Mourinho may have Balotelli back for Inter, but he will require a late fitness test. Chivu has returned to full training but is unlikely to start the game.

With the away goal rule, Chelsea only need a goal to qualify. To win 1-0, it is essential that Terry has Eto'o in his pocket, the Cameroon International has immense pace and Terry must stay tight on him.

I would back the double result, Draw/Chelsea at 3/1. It will be a tightly contested match, with few opportunities for shots at goal either end as Inter defend their lead. Turnball must be at his very best for Chelsea and cannot afford to be sloppy in the air.

I would also have a small flutter on Total Chelsea Cards Over 3 at 4/1. If Chelsea fail to take control of the match and qualify, or should there be a few contentious refereeing decisions, I could see the Chelsea players over reacting again in the heat of the battle and taking on a few cards.

In three years at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho never lost a league match at home and was only defeated there once in the Champions League. His feeling will be that everyone knows Mourinho never loses at Stamford Bridge, well Team Terry and Ancelotti will be doing their utmost to prove him wrong!



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