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Omens favour Inter against CSKA

PFC CSKA Moskva's only win over Italian opponents led to a historic triumph but FC Internazionale Milano have a good record against Russian teams.

Only an equaliser by Fenerbahçe SK five minutes from time prevented PFC CSKA Moskva from recording their first victory in this season's competition. Another home fixture swiftly follows to give them the chance to make amends but they know the challenge from FC Internazionale Milano is sure to be a tough one, particularly now the Italians have recovered from their surprise loss in Turkey on Matchday 1.

• Both these Group G sides suffered at the hands of Fenerbahçe's Brazilian striker Deivid in the opening two Matchdays. He scored the only goal of the game in Istanbul against Inter and then popped up to deny a first win to a CSKA side who had overturned an early deficit with goals from Miloš Krasić and Vágner Love, the second a penalty.

• That was a disappointment to Valeri Gazzaev's side who had hoped to follow their 2-1 defeat by PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands on Matchday 1 by collecting their first victory of the campaign.

• CSKA, hoping to improve on two successive third-place finishes in the group stage, have only met two Italian sides in European competition and in three matches at home they have tasted victory once. That came in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup semi-final, when goals from Daniel Carvalho (2) and Vasili Berezoutski earned a 3-0 win over Parma FC in the second leg, taking them into the final and what would prove Russia's first UEFA club competition trophy.

• The sides also met in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round when a 1-1 draw in Moscow was overturned in the second leg by the Italians who won 3-2, with Adriano breaking the deadlock. CSKA have also faced AS Roma, losing the first leg of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round tie in 1991/92 at home 2-1 before turning the tables in the Stadio Olimpico. However the 1-0 victory was not enough to maintain the Russian side's interest in the competition.

• After their 1-0 loss at Fenerbahçe, Inter got their campaign on track against PSV Eindhoven as Zlatan Ibrahimović fired two goals to secure a first win for Roberto Mancini's team. The Swedish international scored a 15th-minute penalty and then with a header just after the half-hour. The dismissal of Cristian Chivu could not prevent the Italian champions from claiming all three points.

• In their eighth UEFA Champions League campaign and their sixth successive season in the group stages, the Nerazzurri will be boosted by the knowledge that they won in Moscow a year ago. They defeated FC Spartak Moskva 1-0 through Julio Cruz's goal, one of three victories as they finished in second place in their section to qualify for the knockout rounds.

• Cruz also proved a thorn in Spartak's side when the sides met in Inter's home game. He struck both goals as they won 2-1 to maintain a pattern of success against Russian sides. In ten games Inter have won six and drawn three.

• The Milan club's only defeat came when FC Lokomotiv Moskva got the better of them in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage, winning 3-0 at home. It ranks as their heaviest away defeat in the competition, along with the 3-0 loss at FC Barcelona in the second group stage in February 2003.

• Inter's four other trips to the Russian capital brought two wins, both against Spartak, the first of which, a 2-1 triumph in the last four of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup, took the Italian side through to the final where they went on to lift the trophy, overcoming Serie A rivals S.S. Lazio.