Wed, Oct 18, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Barcelona, Inter look to turn things around

AFP , PARIS

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech receives treatment after colliding with Reading's Stephen Hunt during their English Premiership soccer match at Madejski Stadium in Reading, England, last Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

European giants Barcelona and Inter Milan go into battle today looking to boost what has been a disappointing start to their Champ-ions League campaigns.

Barcelona travel to Chelsea for what promises to be another epic battle between the two sides after two bruising encounters in successive seasons which has seen Chelsea knockout Barca out two terms ago and the Catalan giants get their revenge last season.

Inter have a virtual do or die game in their bid to qualify for the knockout stages as they have yet to register a point but must fancy their chances at home to Spartak Moscow, who have only got a point.

Barcelona trail the Premiership champions by two points in the group but may well be licking their lips at the thought of their strike force squaring up to third choice goalkeeper Hilario.

Hilario, who is in line to play because Petr Cech suffered a fractured skull against Reading and second choice Carlo Cudicini was concussed in the same match, has shipped six goals in two previous meetings with Barcelona when he was at Porto.

Despite this Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has given him his full backing.

"Hilario is a goalkeeper with experience," Mourinho said. "When he was at Porto he played two Champions League matches against Barcelona. So no problem, I trust him and the team trust him."

Another man with something to prove but with a much more glittering career is Barcelona's world player of the year Ronaldinho, whose under par performances at the World Cup finals have been followed by reports that he had fallen out with club coach Frank Rijkaard.

Ronaldinho insisted he had been inspired by criticism of his displays.

"If they [the media] criticize me it is because they know that I can do more and I am motivated to continue working and improving," said Ronaldinho, who showed glimpses of his best form at the weekend scoring twice against Sevilla.

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