In a stunning performance that caused Hamburg SV manager Armin Veh his job, Bayern Munich dropped six goals on HSV this weekend, en route to a 6-0 victory. The first goal didn't even come until the 40th minute. Meanwhile, in Italy, Inter Milan dropped points to relegation threatened Brescia, somehow only managing a 1-1 draw. Brescia out-shot Inter, and the only reason they didn't defeat the defending Serie A champions was because Andrea Caracciolo missed a penalty in stoppage time. Have you learned everything you need to know about this UEFA Champions League encounter yet?
Okay, so you want some more information before deciding that you are properly informed. That's fine, I can live with that. It's always nice when the public wants to be better informed.
Here's another interesting tidbit of information: Franck Ribery is back. I don't mean physically back, as in he's actually playing first team football regularly. He's been doing that for a while now. I mean that he's back to the Franck Ribery of old. The one who cost Bayern Munich a lot of money, was stunning for four-fifths of last season, and had France's World Cup hopes thrown onto his back. As we know now, those problems looked like a baby grand piano on Ribery's back, and he failed miserably in the World Cup, along with his France teammates. He hadn't looked like a world class player for Bayern Munich since then, until about this weekend.
With vintage Ribery in the side, Arjen Robben looked more confident and put in one of his best performances of the season against Hamburg. The Rib-Rob (or Robbery, whichever you prefer) combination is back, and this time they're here with Toni Kroos and without Martin Demichelis. Uh oh.
Meanwhile, their opponents on Tuesday lack that kind of flash and potential to rip teams to shreds. Though they dropped five goals on Genoa not that long ago, it seemed like a minor anomaly when it happened. Inter Milan are good, but they aren't that good.
Still, that performance against Genoa was closer to accurately reflecting what kind of team Inter is than the embarrassing performance against Brescia. Samuel Eto'o's scoring rate has been superb this season, and Wesley Sneijder has done nothing to dispel the notion that he's now one of the 10 or so best attacking players in the world. Javier Zanetti is still going strong at 37 years old, and Esteban Cambiasso seems to be perpetually underrated.
Unfortunately for Inter, Cambiasso looks unlikely to play on Tuesday, along with central defender Lucio. These absences present some serious problems for an Inter team who were already ravaged by injuries to defensive players. If the newfound form, fitness, and chemistry that has propelled Robbery to new heights wasn't already going to be the deciding factor in this fixture, the absence of those two players combined with the form of the two wingers should push Bayern over the top.
The Bavarians stole a late goal at the San Siro to win 1-0, and that deficit seems like it will be very hard for Inter to overturn at the Allianz Arena. They're a good enough team with good enough players that anything can happen, but when Robbery are fit and in form, betting men should avoid laying money against Bayern.