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Wolfsburg v Internazionale preview

VfL Wolfsburg have not conceded in three UEFA Europa League matches but must have their wits about them as they host unbeaten FC Internazionale Milano.

Wolfsburg are Germany's only representatives in the round of 16
Wolfsburg are Germany's only representatives in the round of 16 ©Getty Images

Germany's sole survivors take on one of five Italian teams in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, with VfL Wolfsburg eager to end FC Internazionale Milano's unbeaten run in this season's competition.

What they say
Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg coach: "We're playing one of the greatest teams in Europe. There is no reson to underestimate Internazionale; they haven't lost even one match in this competition. They have problems in Serie A and that makes it much more difficult for us, because they'll try to take their chance in this competition. I enjoy every match in the Europa League, it's a lot of fun being in this competition. We want to get a positive result, and for me that's only a win. It doesn't matter if we concede goals, I just want to win. The chances are 50-50."

Inter coach Roberto Mancini: "It's not only about Bas Dost; in general Wolfsburg are a very dangerous team. They have a lot of quality. In every part of the team there are very good players, so it's no accident they're second in the Bundesliga. It's because they're a high-quality team. We await very tough opponents and have to play nearly perfectly to get a good result here. But we also have to play smart, knowing we have two matches to play. It's been a tough draw for us, but we have a team with young players. So we have to be careful. We'll try to score and if we get the chance to win, we have to take it. The players have to give their maximum. This might be the next step in our development."

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.

Wolfsburg are yet to win in three games against Italian sides (D1 L2), with that lone draw a 2-2 against Inter's neighbours AC Milan at San Siro in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. Their only home game was a 2-0 loss to AC Perugia in a 2003 UEFA Intertoto Cup final.

Inter have won only once in their last six games in Germany, but it was a memorable success, their 3-2 victory at FC Bayern München in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League round of 16 seeing them through on away goals after a 1-0 home loss.

Form guide
Wolfsburg have not conceded in their last three continental games, but their home form in Europe this season has been unpredictable (W2 D1 L1).

• Of the sides that started the competition in the group stage, only three remain unbeaten: FC Dinamo Moskva (W7 D1), Club Brugge KV (W5 D3) and Inter (W4 D4).

Inter's last three European away games have ended in draws.

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.

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.

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 58 European games to their name. Inter have the most impressive pedigree with 387 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
• 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.

• 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.

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