Rafael Benítez wants further signs of progress from holders FC Internazionale Milano as they visit an FC Twente side with "nothing to lose" according to coach Michel Preud'homme.
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UEFA Champions League debutants FC Twente begin their maiden campaign with a tough-looking Group A test against holders FC Internazionale Milano on Tuesday but coach Michel Preud'homme declared: "We have everything to win and nothing to lose." Rafael Benítez believes Inter have been improving since he took over in the summer but is not taking Twente's strength and "intensity" lightly.
Michel Preud'homme, Twente coach
Inter can dictate the game whenever they need to, but they can also let the other team play when the situation asks for it, like [in last season's semi-final against] Barcelona. Inter's strengths have not changed. In fact, I think it is a good thing to start at home against Inter. We have everything to win, and nothing to lose.
This is something new for FC Twente and something new for the fans. It is the continuation of the dream they had [after winning the title] at the end of last season. Thanks to that we are here now, and we will try to make the best of it. We approach the game with confidence. It is a great match to play in, but we know how strong our opponents are. Everybody is fit. We will stay loyal to our way of playing and try to attack when possible.
Rafael Benítez, Inter coach
I have a fantastic team and I don't think about the past. I have seen some progress since the day I arrived, but I want to see more. Twente are a strong side with intensity and quality. We have watched them on video and we know it will be tough, not least because they will be eager to start well in the Champions League. However we don't have to talk too much about our opponents, we must only think about ourselves.
If we play well, we will achieve a good result. With the same mentality and spirit of last season we know we can win the Champions League again. Every year is different, last season Inter did not do too well in the group stage, but we want to do better this time around. It's not easy for teams who have a lot of players who played in the World Cup at this time of the season, but I think we are improving in all respects.
Nicky Kuiper was an unused substitute against VVV-Venlo at the weekend after recovering from surgery on his right knee in April.
Thiago Motta is out with a knee injury. Dejan Stanković missed the weekend game against Udinese Calcio – on his 32nd birthday – with a left thigh injury, and is a doubt. Maicon has yet to make a Serie A appearance this term because of a knee injury picked up in training and is still not "100%" according to Benítez.
11/09/10 VVV-Venlo 1-2 Twente
(Paauwe 42pen; Ruiz 29, Rosales 70)
VVV's goal was the first Nikolay Mihaylov has conceded in six games in all competitions this season for his club. Preud'homme named the same XI which had defeated FC Utrecht 4-0 on 29 August.
11/09/10 Inter 2-1 Udinese Calcio
(Lucio 7, Eto'o 67; Floro Flores 31)
Lucio's strike was his first for club or country since scoring against Juventus in the Coppa Italia in January, and his first in the league since 23 September 2009. Inter have not lost a home game in Serie A since a 2-1 defeat by Juventus on 22 March 2008.
Did you know?
Inter coach Benítez has never lost against Dutch opposition in the UEFA Champions League. During his time at Liverpool FC he recorded five wins and a draw against PSV. He previously oversaw two draws against Ajax with Valencia CF.
See the match background for more information.