Friday, February 6, 2009

Perrotta predicting Inter Milan exit

AS Roma's Simone Perrotta said Thursday that he does not expect Inter Milan to overcome Champions League holders Manchester United when they meet in the round of 16 later this month.

Italian champion Inter leads the Serie A table, but has not been at its best since the end of the winter break, while Manchester United has risen to the top of the English Premier League on the back of seven-straight wins and a defense that has not conceded a goal in 12 matches.

"I would say Liverpool and Manchester United (are the favourites) because when it comes to aggression they have something more than the others," Perrotta told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Inter host United in the first leg of the tie on Feb. 24.

The Manchester-born midfielder will expect to be in the team for Roma's matches against Arsenal, while there is a third Anglo-Italian match up between Juventus and Chelsea.

Roma has been Italy's best performer in the Champions League in recent years and this season the players have the extra incentive of reaching a final being played in their Stadio Olimpico.

"Arsenal is a very strong team, one that doesn't have any weak points, not even in defence. In every sense it will be an equal challenge," he continued.

"Anyway if we want to reach the final, and it will be difficult, we have to play at our best. We could also use a bit of luck with the draw, for the last two years we have drawn Manchester United in the quarterfinals."

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