José Mourinho says quarter-final visitors PFC CSKA Moskva will be tough to break down but is calling on FC Internazionale Milano fans to urge them to success like against Chelsea FC.
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José Mourinho is calling on FC Internazionale Milano fans to give the same "great support" in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg against PFC CSKA Moskva as they did when beating Chelsea FC 2-1 in the last round. Mourinho is delighted with the Nerazzurri's run in Europe – if not at home – but while Leonid Slutsky says Inter are "clearly the favourites", the Portuguese knows CSKA have already overcome strong teams this season.
José Mourinho, Inter coach
Inter are having a great Champions League campaign, the best in many years, and we are determined to reach the semi-finals. We have played four games against two of the best teams in the world. In eight games in total we lost only once at Barcelona. The tie against Chelsea was fantastic and we did well when under pressure in the group stage. CSKA were also in a tough group which included Manchester United and then qualified for the quarter-finals by beating a quality team in Sevilla. We had great support from our fans at home against Chelsea and I expect the same against CSKA as it will be another difficult game.
CSKA were physically impressive when they played at United. Their season has just started but they don't need to run much with their playing style. Their players try to stay as close as possible to each other on the pitch, all their defenders and defensive midfielders are strong physically and then they have three players with great pace for counterattacks who help out in defence when needed. This is the reason why they play so well in away games.
Leonid Slutsky, CSKA coach
They are clearly the favourites, Inter are a great team and everybody thinks they are going to win. But tomorrow we will show we deserve to be here. We have not played that well lately though every team has highs and lows – I saw Inter playing against Catania and it was nothing like their performance against Chelsea, for example.
All the quarter-finalists are strong and everybody probably hoped to draw us. We will play our usual game tomorrow and see what happens. Both teams will try to win, so it's not going to be a boring game. [Inter] will not be thinking about their league problems and while they lost on Saturday they also hit the woodwork three times.
Out: Davide Santon (knee)
Suspended: Lucio, Thiago Motta
Misses next match if booked: Walter Samuel, Maicon, Javier Zanetti
• Wesley Sneijder returned to action on Saturday against AS Roma after missing the 24 March meeting with AS Livorno Calcio with a thigh injury.
Doubtful: Mark González (muscle), Keisuke Honda (ankle)
Misses next match if booked: Evgeni Aldonin, Aleksei Berezutski, Mark González, Miloš Krasić, Chidi Odiah
• Winger González was rested for the trip to FC Anzhi Makhachkala after picking up a knock at Sevilla FC. Slutsky said: "I don't know whether González will play or not, but for sure he's getting ready for this game."
• Honda may only feature on the bench.
27/03/10 AS Roma 2-1 Inter
(De Rossi 17, Toni 73; Milito 66)
• Milito's 18th goal in 28 league games this term was not enough as Roma moved within a point of Inter. On 28 November 2009, 14 points separated the sides. Inter hit the woodwork three times; Walter Samuel and Milito headed against the bar, the latter also hit the post late on.
26/03/10 FC Anzhi Makhachkala 1-2 CSKA
(Streltsov 11; Honda 49, Necid 62)
• Kiril Nababkin made his debut as the Army Men conceded their first league goal of the season. The visitors recovered, with Keisuke Honda scoring his third goal since his move to Moscow, his second from a direct free-kick.
• Inter have not reached a semi-final since 2002/03, losing at this stage in 2004/05 and 2005/06. CSKA are in their first UEFA Champions League post group-stage knockout phase.
• CSKA hope to be the first Russian side to reach a semi-final in Europe's top club competition since FC Spartak Moskva in 1990/91.
• While at the Chelsea helm, Mourinho oversaw 2-0 home and 1-0 away wins against CSKA in the 2004/05 group stage.
• Sneijder was on the losing side against Igor Akinfeev and Sergei Ignashevich when Russia beat the Netherlands 3-1 in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals.
Did you know?
• Maicon and Guilherme are both Cruzeiro EC youth products.
Read more on the match in the official UEFA Champions League press kit.