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Mancini: We've improved since home defeat

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Mancini: We've improved since home defeat

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:25 pm

04.12.2006

When it comes to knowing your Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, Giovanni Trapattoni and Lothar Matthäus are the undoubted experts. Trapattoni tasted success as head coach in both Munich and Milan, while Germany's most capped international Matthäus racked up a string of winners' medals in both the red shirt of Bayern and the <i>Nerrazzurri</i> blue and black stripes worn by Inter.

The Italian coached the German at both clubs, but the pair now work side-by-side at the Red Bull Salzburg helm. Their unanimous verdict ahead of Tuesday's Champions League meeting between Bayern and Internazionale: the pair could realistically meet again in Athens, the venue for the final next May.

<b>Zanetti: A vital match</b>

"Trapattoni is the greatest Italian coach around," Inter boss Roberto Mancini told Monday's mandatory news conference at the Munich Sheraton Grand Hotel. "And I'm hoping his enormous expertise in the game means he's right again on this occasion," Mancini continued with a grin.

Tuesday's meeting is not the final, but there is still plenty to play for, as top spot in Group B is up for grabs. The sentiment emanating from both camps emphasised the perceived advantage of playing the first knockout round second leg at home. "Tomorrow's match is vital for us," Inter skipper Javier Zanetti confirmed.

<b>Prestige duel</b>

Mancini acknowledged the prestige to be gained from winning the German-Italian showdown. "We're already through, so we have the option of taking it easy. But Bayern are a massive club, and we want to play well against this fantastic team."

Zanetti also spoke of "the great Bayern Munich," although revenge must be in the thoughts of the skipper and his team-mates after the Bavarians' 2-0 victory in the first meeting between the sides. "We have a score to settle with Bayern," striker Hernan Crespo confirmed a few days ago.

<b>Adriano out injured</b>

Mancini is without Cordoba, Cruz and Adriano with injury, but reckoned the result at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium some two months ago could safely be discounted now, "because we've definitely improved since then." His skipper agreed: "We had a few problems in the league at the time, but we've grown together, we're a lot more confident, and we've put together a great run of results," Zanetti explained.

"Inter are in fantastic form. They're among the favourites to win the Champions League," Bayern boss Felix Magath told his club's news conference at the Säbener Strasse. The Serie A leaders have won their last 11 competitive fixtures, so the mood of calm confidence in their camp is entirely understandable. "It'll definitely be an exciting match tomorrow," Zanetti concluded - and perhaps a dress rehearsal for an even bigger occasion.
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