Last year’s winners, Inter Milan, looked to be on their way out of the Champions League in mid-March as they trailed Bayern Munich 3-1 on aggregate with 30 minutes to play.
However, a Sneijder-inspired turnaround has put them right back on track and look very likely to qualify over German side Schalke 04, Coral making the Italians just 1/3 to make the semis.
Schalke, 13/2 with Betfred at the San Siro, are in indifferent form domestically but five wins from seven (and two draws) in the Champions League means they are a different beast in Europe. Schalke boss Ralf Rangnick will have been buoyed by Inter’s poor show against rivals AC Milan at the weekend but would surely settle for a draw, 3/1 with Skybet, as he is without strikers Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Mario Gavranovic and midfielder Peer Kluge, all through injury.
Inter will be looking for a comfortable win though as the German opposition are considered significant underdogs. Lucio’s suspension will be crucial, for both sides, in defence and an Inter clean sheet is an even money chance at Ladbrokes. Keeping Raul quiet will be key for Leonardo’s men; the European all time topscorer is 13/5 with Paddy Power to notch at anytime for Schalke and he will be pivotal, perhaps more so at home, for Schalke’s bid for the semis.
With Inter concentrating on a win and some nerves about conceding a goal inevitably giving way to caution, Stan James’ 4/5 about under three goals appeals.
Schalke are unlikely to contribute to the goal tally so correct score backers can look to 1-0 (11/2, Totesport) and 2-0 (6/1, William Hill) while a broader win to nil for the Italians is 11/8 with bet365.