Ranieri wary of visit to 'prolific' Lille
Monday, October 17, 2011
FC Internazionale Milano coach Claudio Ranieri says he is cautious of the "most prolific" team in France as he welcomes back the influential Wesley Sneijder for the trip to LOSC Lille Métropole.
Article top media content
FC Internazionale Milano coach Claudio Ranieri welcomes back influential midfielder Wesley Sneijder for his team's 100th UEFA Champions League game away at LOSC Lille Métropole. Lille have drawn their opening two Group B encounters but Ranieri is wary of the "fluid football" of opponents who can leapfrog his side with victory at the Lille Métropole.
Coach Rudi Garcia
Inter are a great team, even though they have gone through hard times this season. We don't know if it's a good time to play them but it's more important to focus on ourselves. We'll have to be at our best to beat them, especially as we haven't won in the Champions League yet. Inter are the group favourites, despite their domestic results, but we'll be playing at home and have the momentum so you will see a Lille team looking to get forward as much as possible.
Saturday: AJ Auxerre 1-3 Lille (Oliech 36; Payet 71, Jeleń 82, Debuchy 90+5pen)
Landreau; Béria, Rozehnal, Baša, Debuchy; Balmont, Mavuba, Obraniak (Hazard 52), Pedretti; Rodelin (Jeleń 52), Payet (Cole 79)
• Lille are unbeaten in ten and have lost just once in 31 matches.
Ludovic Obraniak and Dmitri Payet returned against Ajax and Aurélien Chedjou was an unused substitute after a thigh injury. Moussa Sow, who has had a toe injury, was also in the squad.
Coach Claudio Ranieri
We are preparing for a match against a very good team who are very prolific – the most prolific in France. Eden Hazard is an excellent player, but he's not the only one to watch; with Moussa Sow or Joe Cole they play very fluid football. It's up to us to counter those three forward players and play quickly to create danger at their end.
It's good to have Wesley [Sneijder] back, he's a really key player in the middle of the pitch. All of his team-mates know he can create or set up a goal at any time and I'm saying that without putting pressure on him. The team aren't afraid and are not lacking in confidence but it's the players who have to turn things around and they are ready.
Saturday: Calcio Catania 2-1 Inter (Almirón 46, Lodi 50pen; Cambiasso 6)
Castellazzi; Maicon, Lúcio, Samuel (Córdoba 62), Nagatomo; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Stanković (Álvarez 60), Muntari; Pazzini, Milito (Zárate 60)
• Inter suffered their fifth loss in eight games this season and have conceded 13 in six league fixtures.
Sneijder returns after a three-week absence but Walter Samuel suffered a thigh injury on Saturday which is expected to keep him out for two weeks. Iván Córdoba, who replaced him, is not in the club's UEFA Champions League squad. Thiago Motta was on the bench after a thigh problem while Júlio César was left out due to back pain. Philippe Coutinho (thigh) is sidelined but Cristian Chivu should be fit to start in defence.
Lille have not conceded in their last three home games against Italian sides. They beat Genoa CFC 3-0 in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage having drawn 0-0 at home to AC Milan in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage and beaten ACF Fiorentina 2-0 in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round.