Inter v Lyon
However, in Alvero Recoba and recent signing Hernan Crespo, Hector Cuper is not exactly short of cover up front. In fact, Crespo, signed as a replacement for Brazilian striker Ronaldo, has already demonstrated his worth to his new club, when finding the net last week to earn all three points for Inter against a plucky Ajax side. The Argentinian has scored all three of Inter’s Chha,pions League goals to date and looks well-equipped to assume the mantle vacated by the injury-prone Brazilian.
Coach Hector Cuper will likely field two attacking midfielders, Dalmat and Recoba, as support for Hernan Crespo.
The French side have been riddled with inconsistency this season, following their 2-1 defeat to Ajax with a marvellous attacking display to overcome Rosenborg 5-0 last week.
After a good start to their domestic season, Lyon’s form has fallen off lately and they currently lie in mid-table. They have the best goalscoring record in France but their defence has been their achilles heel this season and although Inter are not renowned for the exuberance of their attacking play, the home side can expect chanes tonight.
Lyon coach Paul Le Guen is expected to field the same starting eleven that defeated Rosenborg. Brazilian Juninho has recovered from injury and will be on the bench.
It is difficult to see beyond a home win for Inter although if their defence, well-marshalled by Cannavaro since his summer arrival from Parma, are not vigilant, then the likes of Sonny Anderson in the Lyon attack, will cause them problems.
Inter: Toldo; Cordoba, Materazzi, Cannavaro; J. Zanetti, Di Biagio, Almeyda, Coco; Dalmat, Crespo, Recoba
Lyon: Coupet; Deflandre, Cacapa, Muller, Brechet; Dhorasoo, Violeau, Diarra, Carriere; Anderson, Vairelles
Rosenborg v Ajax
Ajax were unlucky to take away nothing from the San Siro last week, after dominating proceedings until Hernan Crespo struck late for the Italians.
Rosenborg meanwhile, will be looking to recover from their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Lyon, a result which though not terminal to their chances of qualifying, was certainly a nail in their coffin.
For Ajax, Finnish striker Jari Litmanen hasn’t travelled, while Romanian defender Cristian Chivu is rated doubtful and Johnny Heitinga is out after his cruciate ligaments. The injury problems could provide opportunities for veterans Richard Witchsge and Aron Winter.
Rosenborg welcome back RoarStrand and Janne Saarinen, who both missed the Lyon thrashing.
Rosenborg, perennial qualifiers for the Champions League, have rarely threatened to make an impact in recent seasons and this season looks no different. Ajax meanwhile, though still a long way short of their mid-90’s heyday, let alone their Johan Cruyff-inspired period of domination in the 1970’s, are showing signs of revival under Ronald Koeman and should be good enough to take the points tonight.
Probable teams: To be announced