Alberto Zaccheroni has warned FC Lokomotiv Moskva that they will face a different Internazionale FC side in Milan from the one which went down 3-0 in Moscow a fortnight ago.
That defeat, overseen by caretaker coach Corrado Verdelli, came 24 hours before Zaccheroni took the helm, and since then the Nerazzurri have hinted at a bright future under the new man with a goalless draw against AS Roma followed by a 2-0 win at AC Chievo Verona last Saturday.
That was Inter's first victory in five games and Zaccheroni spoke of his players' growing confidence on the eve of Wednesday's game, saying: "The match will be played in different conditions to the one in Moscow.
The players were under too much pressure to win that game and made some mistakes. Now we have taken four points from our last two Serie A games and we have more confidence."
Zaccheroni, who has previously coached AC Milan and S.S. Lazio in the Champions League, should have a full complement of players to choose from. Although Iván Córboba has been struggling with a knee problem and Andy van der Meyde a muscle strain, both are likely to be fit, leaving Zaccheroni to choose between Van der Meyde and Kily González on the left of midfield.
Lokomotiv in contention
Despite their defeat in Moscow, Inter presently lead the section with six points, level with FC Dynamo Kyiv. Lokomotiv are very much in contention themselves, lying third with four points. Zaccheroni warned that it would not be easy to breach a defence which has conceded only two goals in the group, and called for Inter to reproduce the high-tempo pressing game that has served them well in his first two matches.
'Hit them quickly'
"We'll have to try and hit them quickly when we gain possession," he said. "We'll have to surprise them with quick attacks, otherwise we'll be constantly running into their defensive wall. The win against Chievo gave us confidence, but we still have a few things to sort out."
Lokomotiv coach Yuri Semin knows his side may have to make the most of their European campaign this season, having missed out on a UEFA Cup place after finishing the Russian Premier League season in fourth place, although they could still qualify via the Russian Cup.
Semin is also aware that the change of coach will bolster Lokomotiv's opponents at the San Siro. "I have seen the last two Inter matches and I have seen different tactics under Zaccheroni. This group is extremely well balanced and all the four teams can still qualify so every point is precious."
He added: "
If Inter allow us to attack we will do so but we have to be aware not to leave spaces in our defence." As for Inter's strikeforce of Christian Vieri and Alvaro Recoba, Semin said: "They are two high-quality players, but we are professionals and we do not fear anyone."
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