Claudio Ranieri backs ‘rejuvenated’ Internazionale to beat Marseille
Claudio Ranieri believes Internazionale's 2-0 victory over Chievo on Friday has helped revitalise his team ahead of Marseille's visit
Claudio Ranieri believes Internazionale are a “different” team to the one which lost 1-0 to Marseille in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Stade Velodrome three weeks ago.
Ranieri’s side ended a nine-game winless streak with a 2-0 Serie A victory over Chievo on Friday – and the former Chelsea manager is confident that result has revitalised Inter ahead of the return leg on Tuesday night.
“Friday’s success against Chievo has encouraged and rejuvenated us,” said Ranieri. “We want to keep our Champions League campaign going and we are determined to get through.
“The team will not lie down and we have found confidence after a difficult period.
“The squad have always given everything and we showed that in Verona where we scored at the end of the game because we kept on fighting. Inter players never give up.”
Inter are aiming to reach their third successive Champions League quarter-final, but the Serie A outfit must overturn Marseille’s 1-0 advantage after Andre Ayew’s headed an added-time winner in France.
Ranieri is keen for Inter to be adventurous going forward, but the 60-year-old is wary of Marseille’s impressive away record in Europe’s premier competition.
“We will try to score but we must be careful not to concede,” the Inter boss added.
“Marseille are a good team, strong and dangerous on the counterattack. We know their qualities and their weaknesses.
“They have earned more points away than at home in Champions League matches but compared to the first leg, the mood and atmosphere in our squad is very different.
“They will be a different team if Remy starts the game. He has a different style of play, but we will do everything to stop him.”
Pre-match facts: Internazionale v Marseille
• The clubs met for the first time in the Uefa Cup when Jose Anigo’s Marseille recorded 1-0 home and away wins in the quarter-finals en route to the final in 2004.
• Inter have already beaten one French opponent at San Siro this term, prevailing 2-1 against Lille on matchday four. Their overall home record against Ligue 1 clubs is W5 D3 L3.
• Winners in 2010 and quarter-finalists last term, Inter are competing in the Champions League’s last 16 for the eighth season running.
• For Marseille this is their second consecutive appearance at this stage after an 11-year gap; they have not been further since lifting the trophy in 1993.