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Improving Inter seek second Lille success

FC Internazionale Milano have won their last two fixtures to climb to the top of Group B but their surprise opening defeat gives LOSC Lille Métropole hope for their trip to San Siro.

Giampaolo Pazzini celebrates scoring Inter's winner at Lille on matchday three
Giampaolo Pazzini celebrates scoring Inter's winner at Lille on matchday three ©Getty Images

FC Internazionale Milano were given a shock when they were last at home in the UEFA Champions League, but victories in their last two games have taken the 2010 winners top of Group B and Claudio Ranieri's side will be looking for another success when LOSC Lille Métropole visit.

• The first competitive meeting between the teams on 18 October ended in an Inter victory, Giampaolo Pazzini scoring the only goal in northern France.

• Inter could scarcely have made a worse start to their campaign, group stage debutants Trabzonspor AŞ running out 1-0 winners at San Siro on matchday one, and there was more trouble next time out when a 2-0 lead disappeared at PFC CSKA Moskva. However, substitute Mauro Zárate struck late on to get his side off and running.

• Lille surrended a two-goal lead on matchday one to allow visitors CSKA to rescue a 2-2 draw, Moussa Sow and Benoît Pedretti on target for the French champions. Two weeks later Sow was on the mark again at Trabzonspor with another clinical finish but again Lille could not hold on, conceding a late penalty to draw 1-1.

Match background
• One look at Inter's record against French opponents at San Siro will not fill Ranieri's team with confidence: they have lost three of the last five fixtures at home to Ligue 1 sides, winning only one. They went down 1-0 to Olympique de Marseille in the last home game, a 2003/04 UEFA Cup quarter-final, having lost the away leg by the same scoreline.

• The Nerazzurri's last home match against French opponents in the UEFA Champions League ended in a 2-1 victory for Olympique Lyonnais in the 2002/03 first group stage.

• Inter, participating in the competition for the 11th time, have qualified for the knockout rounds in eight of the last nine years. Last season they failed to become the first UEFA Champions League winners to successfully defend their crown, going out in the quarter-finals to FC Schalke 04, losing 5-2 at home and 2-1 in Germany. In the round of 16 they lost 1-0 at home to FC Bayern München before rescuing the tie with a 3-2 away win. In the group stage the Italian club won all three home games, scoring nine goals.

• Lille went down 3-2 when they faced Genoa CFC in a 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage fixture, their last away game against a Serie A side. Before that they had won on all three previous visits, including a notable success in San Siro when they beat AC Milan 2-0 in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage, a result that secured a place in the knockout rounds for the first time. It was Les Dogues' first away victory in nine attempts in the group stage; five of their previous eight fixtures had been lost.

• Lille's fourth participation in Europe's elite club competition followed last season's league and cup double in France.

Team ties
• David Rozehnal was a team-mate of Zárate at S.S. Lazio between January 2008 and June 2009.

• Rozehnal scored in the penalty shoot-out against UC Sampdoria to help Lazio to victory in the 2008/09 Coppa Italia final. Pazzini converted his spot kick for Sampdoria.

• Túlio De Melo had a brief spell at US Città di Palermo in 2008 but played only one game, in the Coppa Italia.

• Joel Obi and Vincent Enyeama are team-mates with the Nigeria national side.

• Maicon made 59 Ligue 1 appearances for AS Monaco FC between 2004 and 2006, recording two wins and a draw in four games against Lille.

• Joe Cole was a second-half substitute as Chelsea FC lost 1-0 at home to Inter in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg on 16 March 2010, the Italian side completing a 3-1 aggregate victory.