FC Internazionale Milano coach Claudio Ranieri is conscious of Olympique de Marseille's strong away record in the UEFA Champions League but believes an upturn in form has triggered a "mood change" that will help his side claw back their 1-0 round of 16 first-leg deficit. Ranieri's opposite number, Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, suggests the return of Loïc Rémy, Stéphane Mbia and Mathieu Valbuena will help end OM's four-match losing streak.
Coach Claudio Ranieri
Tomorrow we will try to score but we must be careful not to concede. OM are a good team, strong and dangerous on the counterattack. We know their qualities and their weaknesses. They have earned more points away than at home in Champions League matches but compared to the first leg, the mood and atmosphere in our squad is very different.
Friday's success against Chievo has encouraged and rejuvenated us. We want to keep our Champions League campaign going and we are determined to get through. The team will not lie down and as [Dejan] Stanković said, we have found confidence after a difficult period. The squad have always given everything and we showed that in Verona where we scored at the end of the game because we kept on fighting. Inter player never give up.
OM will be a different team if [Loïc] Rémy starts the game. He has a different style of play, but we will do everything to stop him.
Friday 9 March: AC Chievo Verona 0-2 Inter (Samuel 87, Milito 90)
Júlio César; Maicon, Lúcio, Samuel, Nagatomo; Zanetti, Stanković, Poli (Cambiasso 84); Sneijder; Forlán (Pazzini 71), Milito.
• Walter Samuel scored his first goal in 31 league appearances as Inter ended a run of nine matches without a win in all competitions. During that sequence, the Nerazzurri drew the two games when they managed a goal and lost the seven when they did not.
Maicon, who returned to action on Friday after missing two games with a strained knee tendon sustained at Marseille, did not train on Monday but is in the squad. Cristian Chivu is suspended while Andrea Ranocchia (thigh) and Ricardo Álvarez (knee) are ruled out through injury.
Coach Didier Deschamps
Victory in the first leg gave us a small advantage but Inter are the favourites. We have nothing to lose. Inter are a great team and they will do anything to get through. Tactically, it will be very important to defend but it is also important to score and perform well. That is our aim.
Inter have to win but we can also draw. We will look to resist them but also try to hurt them with our quality. We have got three important players back in Loïc Rémy, Stéphane Mbia and Mathieu Valbuena. Our aim was to reach the knockout phase but we will do our best to keep going as far possible.
Tomorrow a lot of our fans will be there. They follow the team with a lot of passion and we are very proud of them. Ranieri has many options in attack. [Diego] Milito is a great player. I won't rule out a surprise in the Inter lineup, as in the first leg, but I think Ranieri will adopt a familiar strategy.
Friday 9 March: AC Ajaccio 1-0 Marseille (André 88)
Mandanda; Azpilicueta, Fanni, N'Koulou, Traoré; Kaboré, Mbia (Diarra 83), Cheyrou (Valbuena 64); Amalfitano (Rémy 46), J Ayew, Brandão.
• OM have lost four in a row – failing to score – since the first leg, their worst run since a five-match sequence in October/November 2006. Those defeats, all in Ligue 1, came against Ajaccio, Stade Brestois 29, Toulouse FC and Évian Thonon Gaillard FC. The last fixture had been postponed from 11 February due to a frozen pitch.
Mbia (thigh, out since 22 January), Rémy (hamstring, 15 February) and Valbuena (thigh, 29 February) all returned to action against Ajaccio but André-Pierre Gignac missed out after suffering a recurrence of adductor trouble. André Ayew has been playing despite on-going shoulder problems, explaining: "I need surgery but if I do it now, my season will be over. I will carry on like this for the time being."
The clubs met for the first time in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup when José Anigo's OM recorded 1-0 home and away wins in the quarter-finals en route to the final. Didier Drogba hit the only goal in Marseille before Camel Meriem's solitary second-leg strike earned Marseille a first win on Italian soil. Javier Zanetti appeared in both games for an Inter side coached by Alberto Zaccheroni.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.