Hungry Italians ready for full English

Apparently, Italy has leapt ahead of the UK in terms of GNP and Serie A’s three Champions League representatives feel they will be in the money when they face the Premier League's rich list.

The Italy game has been lagging behind its English counterpart for far too long and now is the perfect moment to regain their position as the head honchos in Euroland.

Of course, when Inter take on Manchester United, it’s really Jose against Sir Alex and the Portuguese was the cat who got the cream – well that’s the façade he put on – when he met the press on Friday.

“My wish has come true,” he beamed. “We are very motivated, I want to face the best and Manchester [United] are certainly that.”

Of course, Inter's dire recent form in the competition will count for nothing come late February and United's attacking style plays perfectly into Italian hands.

"I'll get you next time, Penelope Pitstop" 

It’s something La Gazzetta dello Sport's website highlighted under their headline: “No fear of the Devils.”

“A lesser opponent may have seen the Nerazzurri fall into their lazy ways but Manchester [United] will sharpen Mourinho’s senses.”

This is just the sort of occasion for which Massimo Moratti hired Mourinho in the first place and the showdown with the English champions will define the Special One’s season.

Claudio Ranieri was another chirpy chap on hearing of a return to Stamford Bridge and Juventus are more than well equipped to deal with Chelsea, who have already lost heavily once to Italian opposition in the shape of AS Roma.

“I am looking forward to seeing how Italy gets on against the money men,” he said. However, wily old Claudio quickly added: “I can’t say I am too happy.”

If there were smiles of contentment from the Inter and Juve camps, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti was absolutely beaming with joy at the news of having drawn Arsenal out of the bowl. “We can face the game with no fear,” was the Tuscan’s up-and-at-'em reaction.

That can certainly be the mantra for all three Italian clubs through the rest of the winter months before tackling the best that England has to offer.

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