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Marseille not fooled by Inter travails

Olympique de Marseille will adopt a cautious approach against an FC Internazionale Milano currently in a run of disappointing domestic form as their round of 16 tie begins.

Marseille limber up on Tuesday
Marseille limber up on Tuesday ©Getty Images

Didier Deschamps expects his Olympique de Marseille team to encounter a different FC Internazionale Milano side to that which has lost five of its last six matches, most recently 3-0 at home to Bologna FC on Friday. The former Juventus coach believes Inter's "attitude will be different" for the resumption of their UEFA Champions League campaign and is aware of the need for a cautious outlook given the number of players in the visitors' ranks who "can make the difference". 

Coach Didier Deschamps

The quality of play Inter show in this match will be different to that which they have displayed in the Italian league. This team has a lot of international players, is very experienced and still has a lot of those who featured in the final two years ago. Their attitude will be different.

Their attacking play is very good, a lot of players can make the difference, and against Italian teams we know small details can be decisive. We are up against a big club with a lot of history. We are preparing as well as we can, with confidence, but it will be a difficult two-legged tie given Inter's quality. The years I spent in Italy allowed me to get to know a great environment and a great football culture, with a lot of professionalism.

For every match, we try to learn about our rivals' weaknesses and seek make the most of them. Inter's players make few mistakes and are lethal in front of the goal. We will have to be very cautious. Our aim is to take the advantage before going to San Siro.

Weekend result
Saturday: Marseille 1-1 Valenciennes FC (Diarra 16; Gil 51)
Mandanda; Fanni, Diawara, N'Koulou, Traoré (Morel 69); Diarra (Cheyrou 46), Kaboré; Amalfitano, Valbuena, A Ayew; J Ayew (Brandão 61)

• Alou Diarra's first goal in 17 games for club and country was only enough for a point in a match in which Jordan Ayew and Brandão were denied by the woodwork. Marseille have scored in each of their last 11 games − 28 goals in all.

Team news
Goalscorer Diarria went off at half-time against Valenciennes with a toe problem, while Loïc Rémy misses the Inter game with a hamstring injury.  Stéphane Mbia (thigh) and André-Pierre Gignac (adductor) have also been sidelined.

Coach Claudio Ranieri

In the league we are going through a difficult period, but we hope the Champions League will help us to improve. I am very happy to meet up again with Didier Deschamps; I have a lot of respect for him. Inter are the favourites because two years ago they won everything. Marseille are going through a good phase and we will try to respond. This is the moment to react.

I am expecting a very difficult match − it will be a fight. I do not feel under threat or nervous. I am preparing for the match with confidence. This team needs to be motivated to play big games, and tomorrow is a great occasion.

Weekend result
Friday: Inter 0-3 Bologna FC (Di Vaio 37 38, Acquafresca 85)

Júlio César; Maicon, Lúcio, Ranocchia, Nagatomo; Zanetti, Cambiasso; Faraoni (Castaignos 69), Sneijder, Forlán (Poli 61); Pazzini

• The Nerazzurri have lost five of their last six fixtures (failing to score in them all), drawing the other 4-4 against US Città di Palermo on 1 February.

Team news
Walter Samuel has missed Inter's last two games with a left thigh strain.

Match fact
Home advantage may not hold its usual significance in this tie given both teams' records at their own grounds this season. It is a curious coincidence that each lost two of their group stage matches on home turf, taking just three points on their own patch but seven on their travels.