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Plenty of attacking options for Inter
September 14, 2007 14:06 IST
Coach Roberto Mancini has even left Brazil [Images] striker Adriano out of his group stage squad because he feels Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hernan Crespo [Images], Julio Cruz, David Suazo and Luis Figo will offer him enough.
Last year's Serie A triumph has bred confidence though it was made easier by the absence of demoted Juventus and AC Milan suffering a points deduction in Italy's [Images] match-fixing affair.
Inter believe they are now ready to transfer that form on to a European stage that they have failed to light up since clinching back-to-back European Cups in 1964 and 1965.
However, their chances will be hampered in the early group stage games by long-term suspensions of defenders Nicolas Burdisso, Maicon and Ivan Cordoba for the mass brawl in the Champions League game with Valencia last season.
The arrival of flexible defender Christian Chivu from AS Roma will ease their defensive difficulties and in Julio Cesar they have a vastly under-rated keeper.
Unsung midfielders Esteban Cambiasso and Dejan Stankovic are also far more important to the team than even some of the club's fans would believe and despite all the top names the squad remains a relatively tight-knit group.
Inter will face PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow [Images] and Fenerbahce in Group G.
"As always, it's a difficult group," Mancini told www.inter.it. "It's always difficult to gauge a true level of difficulty when you're taking part in such an important competition as the Champions League.
"At this level every team is difficult to face and the same goes for the ones we will encounter. They are all teams who represent footballing schools that have always done well in Europe."