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Inter v Wolfsburg preview

FC Internazionale Milano coach Roberto Mancini says "it is not mission impossible" as his side meet VfL Wolfsburg needing to overhaul a 3-1 first-leg defeat.

Inter celebrate Rodrigo Palacio's opener in Germany
Inter celebrate Rodrigo Palacio's opener in Germany ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Internazionale Milano cannot afford to be disheartened about their first-leg defeat as they take on VfL Wolfsburg for a place in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

What they say
Roberto Mancini, Inter coach: "I'm confident and optimistic. We have to win 2-0 and we can do it. We are up against a strong team, but it is not mission impossible. We need a great night. An Inter comeback is possible for three reasons: first because Inter's history is full of them; secondly, sooner or later we will play a game without making mistakes; lastly, my players want to provide our fans with a fantastic evening."

Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg coach: "We got a positive result in Germany, so Inter will try to create chances. They will do their best to get through so we must be focused, especially in defence, playing with passion. We have great respect for Inter and this game will be their last chance to go far in a competition. Games like tomorrow give us experience and motivation. People are optimistic but we haven't done anything yet."

Previous meetings
• Rodrigo Palacio gave Inter an early lead as the sides met for the first time on 13 March, but Naldo headed Wolfsburg's equaliser from a corner before two Kevin De Bruyne goals earned Germany's sole competition survivors a 3-1 win.

• Inter have won only once in their last five home games against German sides (W1 D1 L3), a 4-0 defeat of SV Werder Bremen in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• The first leg was Wolfsburg's first victory in their four games against Italian sides (W1 D1 L2). Their two previous games in Italy ended in a 1-0 defeat and a 2-2 draw – both results which would take them through at Inter.

Form guide
Inter are unbeaten in 11 European home games (W7 D4) and have kept clean sheets in four of their five UEFA home encounters this season.

Wolfsburg are unbeaten in their last three European away games (W2 D1), and have not conceded in their last two UEFA fixtures on the road.

Inter lost out to Tottenham Hotspur FC on away goals in their last round of 16 appearance in 2012/13, a 4-1 extra-time home win not enough to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit.

Wolfsburg have reached this stage for the first time since they were eliminated from the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League in the quarter-finals by Fulham FC.

Trivia and links
Inter's Zdravko Kuzmanović and Wolfsburg's Christian Träsch were team-mates at VfB Stuttgart from 2009–11.

Wolfsburg are the least experienced side in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, with just 59 European games to their name. Inter have the most impressive pedigree with 388 European matches.

• Along with Juventus, Liverpool FC and Sevilla FC, Inter are one of four teams who have won this competition three times, their last success coming in 1998. They are one of five former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in this season's round of 16 along with SSC Napoli (1989), AFC Ajax (1992), holders Sevilla (2006, 2007, 2014) and FC Zenit (2008).

Wolfsburg's Oskar Zawada is among six Polish nationals left in the competition who still have the chance of a dramatic homecoming when the UEFA Europa League final takes place in Warsaw on 27 May.

Wolfsburg winger Maximilian Arnold turns 21 on 27 May, the day of the UEFA Europa League final.

Inter are one of five Italian clubs in the round of 16; only once before has one nation been represented by so many sides at this stage, West Germany having provided five contenders in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup.

The coaches
• In charge at Inter following Walter Mazzarri's dismissal in November, Roberto Mancini also coached the side from 2004 to 2008, winning three Serie A titles and two national cups. A forward, most notably for Sampdoria and SS Lazio, he was capped 36 times by Italy, with recent coaching adventures taking him to Manchester City FC – where he won the 2011/12 Premier League – and Galatasaray AŞ.

• At one stage a lower-league midfielder and trainee policeman, Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking is back in Europe for the first time since steering second-tier TSV Alemannia Aachen into the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group phase. More recently, he has coached Hannover 96 and 1. FC Nürnberg, taking up his current post in December 2012.

Penalty shoot-outs
Inter's record in four UEFA competition penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2 (W0 L1 at home):
5-4 v Celtic FC (A), 1971/72 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi final
3-4 v Aston Villa FC (A), 1994/95 UEFA Cup first round
5-3 v Grazer AK (A), 1996/97 UEFA Cup second round
1-4 v FC Schalke 04 (H), 1996/97 UEFA Cup final

Wolfsburg have yet to feature in a penalty shoot-out in UEFA competition.