Inter to derail Bayern?

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Tue 16th Oct, 2012

Munich - Bayern approach their crunch last 16 second-leg Champions League tie against holders Inter Milan revitalised after a 6-0 Bundesliga drubbing of Hamburg SV at the weekend.

The morale-boosting demolition of HSV snapped a three-game losing streak in their first match since coach Louis van Gaal's end-of-season departure was announced. Any thoughts of the Dutch trainer becoming a lame duck in the coming months were banished (at least for the time being) on the back of a stunning performance.

The German champions are looking to avenge their defeat to the Nerazzurri in the 2010 Champions League final. Bayern find themselves in the driving seat following top scorer Mario Gomez's last-minute goal in the away leg in the San Siro. 

However, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has warned against getting carried away with the first-leg triumph. "Inter are the holders," the 26-year-old pointed out. "They won everything last year and they were the best team. So there is no danger of us underestimating them."

Inter's Lucio looks set to face his former club after recovering from injury. The Brazilian defender spent six seasons with the Reds between 2004 and 2009.

Inter are Italy's sole representative left standing in European competitions. Serie A is an apparently ailing league where match fixing and hooliganism have taken their toll, leading to empty and decaying stadiums.

Inter have failed to fill the huge coaching gap left by the ''Special One'' Jose Mourinho. The brilliant Portuguese maestro led Inter to the triple (Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League winners) in his final season. Brazilian coach Leonardo has stabilised the club somewhat after a very unhappy experiment with ex-Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez.

Inter have risen to second in Serie A under Leonardo but, despite being reigning Champions League winners, it would still be a major surprise if they were to turn this tie around.

van Gaal's men have been in excellent form at home in the competition, recording seven straight wins. On only one occasion in Champions League history has a side overturned a first-leg home defeat to progress (when Ajax turned a 1-0 home defeat to Panathanaikos into a 3-1 aggregate victory in 1996).

And Bayern have won all 20 European ties in which they have won the first leg away, including all five in which the opening match finished 1-0.

Bayern can call on a virtually full-strength squad, with Arjen Robben seemingly hitting top form, evidenced by his hat-trick against HSV.

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