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CSKA looking for lift-off

Top meets bottom as Group G leaders FC Internazionale Milano play host to PFC CSKA Moskva, who need a victory to revive their UEFA Champions League campaign.

A second successive victory for FC Internazionale Milano has enabled Roberto Mancini's side to recover from their surprise Matchday 1 defeat against Fenerbahçe SK and take control of Group G, though only two points separates the top three teams. With just one point gained so far, PFC CSKA Moskva must show their qualities in this return against the Italian champions.

• Inter had gone behind in the first game between the sides two weeks ago as Jô fired in astutely. But the visitors rallied in the second half, equalising through Hernán Crespo before Walter Samuel's first UEFA Champions League goal gave them a valuable victory.

• It enabled Mancini's team to take the leader's baton in Group G with a one-point advantage over Fenerbahçe and increased their prospects of claiming a place in the knockout stages for the fifth time in six seasons.

• After their 1-0 loss at Fenerbahçe, the Nerazzurri got their seventh UEFA Champions League campaign on track as Zlatan Ibrahimović struck two goals to condemn PSV Eindhoven to defeat at San Siro.

• The victory in Moscow then continued Inter's domination of Russian opponents. In eleven games they have won seven and drawn three and are currently on a run of three back-to-back victories. Their only defeat came when FC Lokomotiv Moskva got the better of them in Russia in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage. The 23 October encounter was their first against CSKA.

• At home, Inter have a near-spotless record against Russian visitors, winning four (all by a single goal) and drawing the other. That was the return game against Lokomotiv after the 3-0 away defeat, and it proved crucial with the teams tied on eight points at the end of the campaign. The Russian team went through on head-to-head results.

• CSKA, the back-markers in Group G with just a single point, will be looking for their first win in this year's edition at the fourth attempt. Fenerbahçe's equaliser five minutes from time in the Lokomotiv Stadium was a blow on Matchday 2 after Valeri Gazzaev's side had recovered from an early deficit to pull ahead through Miloš Krasić and Vágner Love's penalty. With a 2-1 defeat by PSV in the Netherlands two weeks previously, CSKA knew at that stage they had a tough task to improve on two successive third-place finishes in the group stage.

• They have previously met only two Italian sides in European competition and in three home-and-away meetings their away performances have held up well. In a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round tie in 1991/92 they won 1-0 in the Stadio Olimpico against AS Roma but bowed out of the competition after losing 2-1 at home.

• In the 2004/05 UEFA Cup semi-final first leg CSKA drew 0-0 away to Parma FC, a result which paved the way for them to reach the final thanks to a 3-0 win in the home leg, and what would prove Russia's first UEFA club competition trophy. Their only defeat in Italy also came with Parma in opposition, a 3-2 defeat in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round.

• The other Group G encounter features the return between Fenerbahçe and PSV.