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Ranieri and Inter ready for CSKA 'challenge'

Published: Monday 26 September 2011, 18.46CET
Claudio Ranieri said "I love a challenge" as he looked ahead to getting FC Internazionale Milano's Group B campaign back on track at PFC CSKA Moskva following a shock defeat.
by Dmitry Itsko
from Moscow
Ranieri and Inter ready for CSKA 'challenge'
Claudio Ranieri oversees training at the Luzhniki Stadion ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

CSKA MoskvaInternazionale

Goals scored11
Attempts on target32
Attempts off target38
Fouls committed114
Yellow cards16
Red cards1
Published: Monday 26 September 2011, 18.46CET

Ranieri and Inter ready for CSKA 'challenge'

Claudio Ranieri said "I love a challenge" as he looked ahead to getting FC Internazionale Milano's Group B campaign back on track at PFC CSKA Moskva following a shock defeat.

Having guided FC Internazionale Milano to their first win of the season, Claudio Ranieri faces PFC CSKA Moskva on his UEFA Champions League debut as Nerazzurri coach, attempting to get the Serie A side's campaign back on track following an opening Group B loss to Trabzonspor AŞ. CSKA coach Leonid Slutski has a lengthy injury list to deal with.

Coach Leonid Slutski
We aren't thinking about whether it will be easier or harder because of the change of Inter coach. We're thinking about ourselves. As for their coaching change, psychology is important but to play against those Inter players, whoever the coach is, would be very difficult for any team in the world.

Concerning our lineup right now, unfortunately it is not too difficult for us to decide, what with the injury list. Who will Inter's biggest threat be tomorrow? They have players like [Diego] Milito, Coutinho, [Joel] Obi and [Giampaolo] Pazzini. All these players will provide threats.

Weekend result
Saturday: CSKA 3-1 FC Volga Nizhny Novgorod (Doumbia 6, Dzagoev 68, Ignashevich 84pen; Bibilov 17)
Gabulov; Nababkin, Ignashevich, A Berezutski, V Berezutski; Dzagoev, Mamaev, Aldonin (Tošić 56) Oliseh (Popov 90); Vágner Love (Šemberas 78), Doumbia

• CSKA ended a run of four matches without a win against a Volga side reduced to ten men on 49 minutes, in a game that brought Artem Popov's league debut. Seydou Doumbia has scored in each of CSKA's last three fixtures in all competitions, four goals in total, and seven in his last six appearances for the club.

Team news
CSKA's long-term injury list includes Igor Akinfeev, Keisuke Honda, Viktor Vasin, Tomáš Necid (all knee), Georgi Schennikov (ankle) and Mark González (hip). Zoran Tošić and Aleksandrs Cauna have recovered from knocks.

Inter Milan
Coach Claudio Ranieri
I haven't looked at any footage of past matches [between the two sides] because what matters is the here and now. A lot will have changed in the meantime, physically and psychologically, for Inter and CSKA. Every match tells its own story and I have prepared for tomorrow's.

[Against Bologna] I tried to deploy a team according to how [the players] were used to playing. I can do more than that at this early stage. I only had two training sessions before Bologna so I didn't have time for any tactical overhauls. During this period, we have also had a lot of injuries, so what I am trying to do is put the players back in their best positions and to get to know the younger ones.

It would have been nice to have the likes of Maicon, [Wesley] Sneijder or [Dejan] Stanković back but the match is now, this is the obstacle we must face and I like it this way. I love a challenge, I love taking on an opponent and if they are better than me then I will congratulate them at the end.

Weekend result
Saturday: Bologna FC 1-3 Inter (Diamanti 66pen; Pazzini 39, Milito 81pen, Lúcio 87)
Júlio César; Nagatomo, Lúcio, Samuel, Chivu; Coutinho (Jonathan 56), Zanetti, Cambiasso, Obi (Muntari 65); Pazzini, Forlán (Milito 75)

• Ranieri, who replaced Gian Piero Gasperini as Inter coach 48 hours earlier, played Lúcio and Walter Samuel at centre-back, abandoning the three-man defence favoured by his predecessor. Bologna's Archimede Morleo was sent off with ten minutes left as Lúcio's first goal in 57 games for club and country sealed Inter's first win of the season.

Team news
Sneijder strained his left thigh in training on Friday and Ranieri says he "will not recover in time to play" against CSKA. Unfortunately for Inter the same applies to Andrea Ranocchia, who suffered a similar injury in the final training session in Moscow. Thiago Motta (thigh) and Stanković (muscle problems) have been out with knocks; Iván Córdoba, Emiliano Viviano, Maicon (all knee) and Andrea Poli (muscle problem) are long-term absentees.

Match fact
The clubs met in the quarter-finals two seasons ago having also crossed paths in the 2007/08 group stage, the Italian team coming out on top in all four games.

Last updated: 27/09/11 12.27CET