Milan have saved their worst recent performances for the San
Siro and despite topping their Champions League group are likely
to face Lille on Wednesday with more than a little trepidation.
Inter have lost their last three Champions League home
matches, including a stunning reverse against Trabzonspor in
this season's opener and a 5-2 thrashing by Schalke 04 last
In Serie A, Napoli crushed them 3-0 in their own backyard
and on Saturday they suffered another miserable evening with a
2-1 defeat to Juventus in the 'Derby of Italy'.
Although Inter top Champions League Group B with six points,
it is a precarious lead with Trabzonspor and CSKA Moscow two
points behind and bottom-placed Lille four adrift.
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar and fullback Maicon have joined
striker Diego Forlan on the injury list in the last week and
even refereeing decisions have been unkind with five penalties
awarded against them in nine Serie A games.
"Unfortunately we're going through a period when
everything's going wrong," said defender Andrea Ranocchia.
"But that's football. However I'm convinced that if we keep
on working as we are now to improve our performance, we'll come
through this difficult time soon."
Inter, who won 1-0 in Lille two weeks ago, cannot draw any
comfort either from their home record against French opposition
- they have lost three of the last five fixtures at home to
Ligue 1 sides, winning only one.
They slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Olympique Marseille
in a 2003/04 UEFA Cup quarter-final, the last time they hosted
The last Ligue 1 visitors in the Champions League, Olympique
Lyon, won 2-1 in 2002/03.
French champions Lille have injury worries, with defenders
Aurelien Chedjou (thigh) and Marko Basa (shoulder) very
Midfielder Florent Balmont (thigh) is also a major doubt for
Wednesday. David Rozenhal and Franck Beria are expected to
deputise in central defence.
In the first match, Lille played some nice football but
Moussa Sow was isolated up front. Coach Rudi Garcia, however,
could field Dimitri Payet alongside the Senegal striker in a
Lille always have firepower with Belgian prodigy Eden Hazard
and former England forward Joe Cole, who has been settling
nicely in northern France since joining on loan from Liverpool.
Inter Milan: 12-Luca Castellazzi; 42-Jonathan, 6-Lucio,
23-Andrea Ranocchia, 26-Cristian Chivu; 4-Javier Zanetti,
8-Thiago Motta, 19-Esteban Cambiasso; 10-Wesley Sneijder;
28-Mauro Zarate, 7-Giampaolo Pazzini
Lille: 1-Mickael Landreau; 2-Mathieu Debuchy, 14-David
Rozenhal, 18-Franck Beria, 21-Laurent Bonnart; 24-Rio Mavuba,
17-Benoit Pedretti, 10-Eden Hazard, 26-Joe Cole; 7-Dimitri
Payet, 8-Moussa Sow
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