Euro Zone: Inter may recall Balotelli for battle at the Bridge

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho could unleash a three-man attack on Chelsea tomorrow night as he welcomes back volatile striker Mario Balotelli but he faces losing Wesley Sneijder. The Dutch midfielder has a virus and is in doubt for the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Sneijder would have played as an attacking midfielder behind Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito but in his absence Mourinho could recall Balotelli and play a front three as Inter look to protect their two-goal lead by going on the attack. Balotelli has clashed constantly with Mourinho this season. The two have argued this week about whether the player had a virus going into last week's draw with Genoa and the club president Massimo Moratti has also complained about the player's entourage pushing for talks on a new contract.

The striker was left out of Inter's disappointing 2-1 defeat away to Catania on Friday with a knee injury but he is now fully recovered.

Inter's date with Chelsea will see most of Italy begrudgingly back Mourinho as he tries to prevent there being no Italian sides in the last eight for the second year running. Juventus patron Lapo Elkann summed up the national feeling when he said: "I will back Inter on Tuesday out of patriotism but it was so much fun to see them lose in the league."

Mancini offers Inter vote of confidence

Former Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini has backed his old club to go all the way in the tournament if they can get past Chelsea. Mancini said: "I thought Real would reach the final and they lost. Barcelona had a difficult February but they are the strongest. But whoever wins between Inter and Chelsea will have set themselves up to go all the way. Inter have the advantage but Chelsea are a strong side."

Robben fires for Bayern Munich

Arjen Robben scored his ninth goal of the season for Bayern Munich against second-bottom Freiburg. The former Chelsea man has now scored more goals in the Bundesliga than he managed for Real Madrid during two seasons in Spain.

Freiburg took the lead in the first half but Robben, with a free-kick and a penalty, stole the points for Bayern ahead of Bayer Leverkusen's match against Hamburg. At the bottom of the table, Hertha Berlin hooligans invaded the pitch to confront their players.