Inter - Olympique de Marseille Preview: Hosts must overcome first-leg deficit to reach quarter-finals for the third season in a row
Claudio Ranieri's men entertain the Ligue 1 giants for a place in the last eight of the competition, with the visitors taking a slender 1-0 advantage to the Giuseppe Meazza
By Mohammed Ali
Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Nagatomo
Zanetti, Stankovic, Cambiasso
Azpilicueta, Diawara, Nkoulou, Morel
Amalfitano, Valbuena, Ayew
Inter boss Claudio Ranieri will be without Cristian Chivu, who will serve a one match ban after incurring a third yellow card of the campaign in the 1-0 defeat to the French side three weeks ago. Joining the 31-year-old on the sidelines is Andrea Ranocchia, whose muscle injury sees him unavailable for the next week at least.
Brazilian right-back Maicon recovered from a knee injury sustained in the first-leg clash at Stade Velodrome to feature in the full 90 minutes of Friday's 2-0 win over Chievo, and is expected to line-up against his former manager Didier Deschamps on Tuesday evening.
The Serie A win at Bentegodi represented the Nerazzuri's first victory in ten games, and they will need to overcome Andre Ayew's stoppage-time goal if they are to progress to a third consecutive Champions League quarter-final.
Olympique de Marseille welcome back key players Loic Remy and Mathieu Valbuena for the return leg of this last 16 tie. Remy has missed the last three weeks, including the 1-0 win over Ranieri's men on 22 February, with a hamstring injury, but the pair featured in Friday's 1-0 defeat to strugglers Ajaccio. Andre-Pierre Gignac and Andre Ayew have both been named in the squad after overcoming groin and shoulder problems respectively.
Alou Diarra is expected to replace Charles Kabore in midfield, with Souleymane Diawara and Jeremy Morel in line for a first-team return after being rested.
Marseille have lost four straight Ligue 1 games since victory over Inter, and are seeking to qualify for the last eight for the first time since winning the inaugural Champions League in 1993.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Inter, winners in 2010, have qualified for the last 16 for the eighth season running. They are also seeking to make the quarter finals for the third straight campaign.
- The Nerazzuri have won five of their last 11 games at home against Ligue 1 opposition, most recently a 2-1 victory over Lille in the group stage.
- The aforementioned victory over the French champions is Inter's only home win in the Champions League this season, with Trabzonspor and CSKA Moscow beating the Italians at San Siro.
- Inter have won 15 out of 28 Champions League ties which they have lost the first leg away from home, including five of the last six.
- Olympique de Marseille are bidding to reach the last eight for the first time since they won the competition in 1993.
- The last time the two sides met before this season, L'OM went on to beat Inter 1-0, having secured victory by the same scoreline at home in the 2003-04 UEFA Cup quarter-final.
- Didier Deschamps (pictured right) did not experience defeat away to Inter as a player.
- Marseille's record away in Italy reads W1 D4 L2, the most recent a 1-1 draw against AC Milan in the 2009-10 Champions League group stage.
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Top 3 Predictions
Inter 2-0 Olympique de Marseille
- 30.49 %
Inter 3-0 Olympique de Marseille
- 11.57 %
Inter 3-1 Olympique de Marseille
- 11.49 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||13 Mar 2012||Inter 2 - Olympique de Marseille 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||22 Feb 2012||Olympique de Marseille 1 - Inter 0|
|8 Dec 2013||Inter 3 - Parma 3||SR-A|
|4 Dec 2013||Inter 3 - Trapani 2||ITAC|
|1 Dec 2013||Inter 1 - Sampdoria 1||SR-A|
|24 Nov 2013||Bologna 1 - Inter 1||SR-A|
|9 Nov 2013||Inter 2 - Livorno 0||SR-A|
|Olympique de Marseille|
|6 Dec 2013||Olympique de Marseille 0 - FC Nantes 1||Lig1|
|3 Dec 2013||Lille OSC 1 - Olympique de Marseille 0||Lig1|
|29 Nov 2013||Olympique de Marseille 2 - Montpellier Herault SC 0||Lig1|
|26 Nov 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||UCL|
|22 Nov 2013||AC Ajaccio 1 - Olympique de Marseille 3||Lig1|
No doubt the Nerazzuri will be gunning for a place in the last eight, though with OM a different outfit in Europe, it would be very difficult. A narrow win for the hosts, with the game likely to go the distance in my opinion.