With four wins out of four in Gelsenkirchen, an unbeaten home record against Italian sides and a three-goal lead, FC Schalke 04 have reason to believe as FC Internazionale Milano visit.
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FC Schalke 04 will look to their imperious home form as they bid to secure a first UEFA Champions League semi-final appearance at the expense of holders FC Internazionale Milano.
• Schalke have won four out of four in the competition in Gelsenkirchen and have never lost a tie in UEFA competition after winning the first leg away, though Leonardo's Inter won at FC Bayern München in the last round.
• The holders will need to better even that feat this time having gone down 5-2 at San Siro despite taking the lead twice. Goals from Dejan Stanković (1) and Diego Milito (34) were cancelled out by Joel Matip (17) and Edu (40) before Schalke took control in the second half, Raúl González (53), an Andrea Ranocchia own goal (57) and Edu (75) completing a memorable victory.
• This contest is a rematch of the 1997 UEFA Cup final. Huub Stevens' Schalke won the first leg in Gelsenkirchen 1-0 through Marc Wilmots' 69th-minute effort. Iván Zamorano struck the only goal of the return for Roy Hodgson's Inter after 84 minutes, although Schalke subsequently prevailed 4-1 on penalties.
• The lineups for the first leg in Germany on 7 May 1997 were:
Schalke: Lehmann, Thon, De Kock, Linke, Eigenrauch, Anderbrügge, Müller, Němec, Büskens (Max 66), Látal, Wilmots.
Inter: Pagliuca, Bergomi, Paganin, Galante, Pistone, Zanetti, Sforza, Fresi (Berti 61), Winter, Ganz, Zamorano.
• Luigi Simoni was in charge of Inter when they took revenge in the quarter-finals the following season. Ronaldo earned the Nerazzurri a 1-0 first-leg win and although Michaël Goossens cancelled this out in the 90th minute of the return, Taribo West's extra-time effort earned the Italian side aggregate victory en route to lifting the trophy.
• Inter's Javier Zanetti played in all four matches.
• Inter are bidding to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy in the UEFA Champions League era. This is their 12th European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final and they have won eight of their previous 11.
• Schalke, by contrast, are in good shape to make it third time lucky after quarter-final defeats in 1958/59 and 2007/08.
• Schalke's 3-1 second-leg victory against Valencia CF in the last 16 was the third straight UEFA Champions League home game in which they scored three goals. They are unbeaten against Italian opposition in Gelsenkirchen with three wins and two draws.
• Their most recent Italian visitors were US Città di Palermo in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 16. Levan Kobiashvili (penalty), Søren Larsen and Mimoun Azaouagh earned Schalke a 3-0 victory as they overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit.
• Inter have won and lost in Germany already this season. They went down 3-0 at SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 6 but secured a dramatic 3-2 win at Bayern in the last 16. Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, they came back from 2-1 down in Bavaria to prevail with a late Goran Pandev goal and thereby triumph on away goals.
• Inter's victory at Bayern was their first away from home in the 2010/11 competition and their first in their last five visits to Germany. Their previous away success against Bundesliga opponents had been a 2-0 win at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage, from which the only survivors are Iván Córdoba and Zanetti.
• Inter's overall record away to German opposition is W5 D7 L4.
• However, only twice in the UEFA Champions League era – Inter's triumph at Bayern and the 1995/96 semi-finals, when AFC Ajax recovered from losing 1-0 to Panathinaikos FC with a 3-0 away triumph – has a team turned round a tie after a home first-leg defeat.
• Inter have won three of the seven UEFA competition ties in which they have lost the first leg at home, against FC TPS Turku in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup second round (0-1 home, 2-0 away) and Olympique Lyonnais in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup second round (1-2 home, 3-1 away).
• Schalke have won all ten UEFA competition ties in which they recorded an away first-leg victory, including two in which they initially triumphed by three-goal margins: against APOEL FC (2008/09 UEFA Cup first round, 4-1 away, 1-1 home) and ACF Fiorentina (1977/78 UEFA Cup first round, 3-0 away, 2-1 home).
• Only one team has overturned a three-goal home first-leg defeat in UEFA competition; FC Slovan Liberec were awarded a 3-0 forfeit win at FC Dinamo Bucureşti in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League play-offs but the Romanian side won the return by the same scoreline and ultimately prevailed 9-8 on penalties.
• Schalke's shoot-out record in UEFA club competitions is:
4-1 v FC Porto, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16
1-3 v Brøndby IF, 2003/04 UEFA Cup second round
4-5 v SK Slavia Praha, 1998/99 UEFA Cup first round
4-1 v FC Internazionale Milano, 1996/97 UEFA Cup final
• Inter's record is:
1-4 v FC Schalke 04, 1996/97 UEFA Cup final
5-3 v Grazer AK, 1996/97 UEFA Cup second round
3-4 v Aston Villa FC, 1994/95 UEFA Cup first round
5-4 v Celtic FC, 1971/72 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final
• Both clubs have changed their coach during the course of this campaign. Inter's Leonardo replaced Rafael Benítez in December while Ralf Rangnick returned to the Schalke helm on 17 March after the departure of Felix Magath. Rangnick's first spell with Schalke ended seven days after a 3-2 loss to Inter's neighbours AC Milan at San Siro on 6 December 2005, a result that ended their interest in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League.
• During his long stay at the Santiago Bernabéu, Raúl shared a dressing room with all of Inter's Real Madrid CF old boys – Wesley Sneijder, Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel and even Samuel Eto'o, who made three Liga appearances in the 1998/99 and 1999/2000 campaigns.
• Raúl appeared for Madrid against Inter in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage, winning 2-0 at home but losing 3-1 at San Siro. His final goal in the competition for the Merengues was against Milan in last term's group stage.
• José Manuel Jurado's season in the Madrid first team coincided with Samuel's stint in the Spanish capital in 2004/05. Jurado played with Thiago Motta at Club Atlético de Madrid in 2007/08.
• Klaas-Jan Huntelaar spent 2009/10 with Milan, making his debut as a substitute in a 4-0 defeat by Inter. He was a second-half replacement in the second derby of the season, which Inter won 2-0.
• Huntelaar is a Netherlands team-mate of Sneijder and the pair were together at AFC Ajax between January 2006 and summer 2007, along with Angelos Charisteas. Besides Raúl, Sneijder played with Christoph Metzelder at the Bernabéu.
• Huntelaar came on as a late substitute as the Netherlands beat a Brazil team including Júlio César, Lúcio and Maicon 2-1 in last summer's FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.
• Dejan Stanković was in the Serbia team that got the better of Manuel Neuer's Germany in the 2010 World Cup group stage.
• Yuto Nagatomo and Atsuto Uchida were in the Japan squad that won the AFC Asian Cup in January.
• Lúcio spent eight seasons in Germany with Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Bayern, and was a team-mate of Ali Karimi in Munich from 2005 to 2007.
• Eto'o was in the Barcelona team that defeated Schalke in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in 2007/08. With RCD Mallorca in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage, he scored the only goal against Schalke in Germany in September but was sent off 26 minutes into Mallorca's 4-0 home loss in the return the next month.
• Huntelaar scored the winning goal in the Netherlands' 2-1 win against Cameroon in the 2010 World Cup group stage after Eto'o had equalised for the African side.
• Motta and Ranocchia lined up against Manuel Neuer in the 1-1 friendly draw between Italy and Germany in Dortmund in February.
• Ranocchia's Italy drew 1-1 in a friendly against a Romania team including Ciprian Deac and Cristian Chivu in November.
• Coutinho was in the Brazil team that ran out 3-0 winners against an Iran side including Karimi in a friendly last October.
• Lúcio and Metzelder were on opposing sides in the 2002 World Cup final, the former's Brazil beating Germany 2-0.