Sports Betting: United ready to take Inter apart

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The Independent Online
THE ITALIAN league is good, but it's not that good. And Manchester United, four points clear at the top of the Premiership, can beat Internazionale, only sixth - 13 points off the lead - in Serie A , in the first leg of their European Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford tomorrow night.

Since Dwight Yorke joined, United's flawed geniuses up front have developed into a club which pose a goal threat to any side from any angle. Dropping deeper than most strikers to fill the creative void which had existed in the middle since Eric Cantona departed, while simultaneously helping himself to 15 League goals, Yorke has given strike partner Andy Cole a new lease of life and provided Ryan Giggs, so fast, and David Beckham, so precise, with constant hope their efforts will bear fruit. United put three past Barcelona twice and scored two against Bayern in Munich. At Old Trafford, at least, they can score goals against Inter.

For the Italian giants are in disarray. Their home record in Serie A - eight wins, a draw and two defeats - is OK, but on the road they have been woeful, winning just twice, drawing four and losing six. While United duly dispatched Southampton at the weekend, Inter were held to a goalless draw by the equally troubled Juventus at the San Siro. That dismal display came hot on the heels of defeats at Lazio and, humiliatingly, at lowly Perugia. In between, Inter were beaten 2-0 at home by Parma in the Italian Cup in a game in which three of their increasingly panic-striken number were sent off in a single incident for expressing their views a little too colourfully to the referee .

Despite conceding only 29 goals in 28 League games, United, with goalkeeper Peter Schemichel in decline and an error-prone back four, remain vulnerable to a class outfit going forward. But, with Ronaldo under a cloud and veteran strikers Robert Baggio and Ivan "Bam Bam" Zamorano carrying injuries, along with Nicola Ventola, and the attacking French midfielder Youri Djorkaeff somewhat inconsistent, Inter lack the firepower to exploit this weakness.

On Thursday, Chelsea should have no trouble beating Valerenga in the first leg of their Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge.

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C H L S T

Man Utd evens evens evens evens evens

Draw 2-1 2-1 2-1 2-1 2-1

Inter 12-5 5-2 5-2 12-5 12-5

Chelsea 2-7 1-4 1-4 2-9 2-7

Draw 7-2 7-2 7-2 4-1 10-3

Valerenga 7-1 9-1 9-1 17-2 15-2

Other Selections: Tonight: Uefa Cup quarter finals: Atletico Madrid to draw with Roma (11-5, L); Bologna to draw with Lyon (5-2, H, L); Bordeaux to draw with Parma (15-8, C, H, L, S); Marseilles (sports betting's ante- post selection at 20-1, now 7-1) to beat Celta Vigo (11-10, H). Premiership: Tottenham to beat Southampton (4-6, C, T). Tomorrow night: European Cup quarter-finals: Bayern Munich to beat Kaislerslautern (4-7, L, S); Juventus to beat Olympiakos (2-5, C); Real Madrid to draw with Dynamo Kiev (12- 5, H). Premiership: Sheffield Wednesday to beat Wimbledon (4-5, C, S). Thursday: Cup Winner's Cup quarter finals: Lokomotiv Moscow to beat Maccabi Haifa (8-15, C, H, S); Panionos to draw with Lazio (5-2, L); Varteks Varadin to draw with Real Mallorca (12-5, L).

C Coral, H William Hill, L Ladbrokes, S Stanley, T Tote

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