What: Champions League Round of 16
Who: Inter (0) vs Marseille (1) (First leg score in brackets)
When: Tuesday 13th March, 2012, at 19:45 UK time
Where: Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy

One out of Ten

With tears rushing down Claudio Ranieri’s face, Inter managed their first win in their last ten competitive matches, against Chievo on Friday night, leaving the Nerazzurri in seventh position with just 40 points after 27 games played. A shadow of the side that brushed Europe aside under Jose Mourinho two years ago, Inter’s Champions League ambitions are in jeopardy, as they have to reverse a 1-0 loss against Marseille at the Stade Velodrome a fortnight ago.

Inter’s win versus Chievo was only wrapped up in the last few minutes, after it appeared that the former Chelsea boss was on the road to another disappointing result and ultimately, closer to receiving the sack at the Appiano Gentile.

Ranieri spoke of his relief after the game was over, and hopes it will lead to an upturn in fortunes against Marseille.

“[President Massimo] Moratti was happy and he congratulated us. This result will surely boost our morale, it is a lifeline, and I am sure that San Siro will be full for the match against Marseille.”

A single win however does not mean that Inter are back to their old selves. Their season has been a catastrophe, and a push in Europe can be their only lifeline at this point of the campaign.


Since their 1-0 win over Inter two weeks ago, Marseille have embarked on a winless streak in France, losing to Brest, Toulouse, Evian and most recently Ajaccio – three of which have been away from home.

A full eight points off third-placed Lille’s trail, qualification for next year’s Champions League is a distant dream for 2010’s Ligue 1 winners. Now, Marseille will have to defend a 1-0 lead and hope to progress to the quarter-finals when facing an Inter side that has been given an adrenaline surge following their recent win.

Marseille might be in crisis at the moment, but club president Vicent Labrune refused to question coach Didier Deschamps’ future after the Ajaccio loss, stating that the former World Cup winner has a secure spot at the helm.

“Didier Deschamps is the man for the job. There is no question about it. All the titles we have won, we owe it to him. Really, there is no question about it [Deschamps getting fired]. Not yesterday, not today, not tomorrow or after tomorrow. "

Marseille are still missing Andre-Pierre Gignac through injury, but fellow forward Andre Ayew recently took part in training and could feature for Les Phoceens.

Recent form

Napoli 1-0 Inter (26/02; Serie A)
Inter 2-2 Catania (04/03; Serie A)
Chievo 0-2 Inter (09/03; Serie A)

Marseille 0-1 Toulouse (03/03; Ligue 1)
Evian 2-0 Marseille (06/03; Ligue 1)
Ajaccio 1-0 Marseille (09/03; Ligue 1)

Key absences

Inter: Andrea Ranocchia; Ricardo Alvarez; Fredy Guarin

Marseille: Andre Ayew (doubt); Andre-Pierre Gignac; Billel Omrani

Players to watch

Inter – Diego Milito: After missing a penalty against Chievo, the Argentinean redeemed himself with the second goal in the dying minutes. Milito is still a shadow of his usual self, but he will have to be instrumental against Marseille with his side wanting to reverse the outcome of the first leg.

Marseille – Steve Mandanda: The team captain will have to be on his toes, given the way Inter are likely to approach this one with so much on the line. Milito, Diego Forlan and co. might be misfiring at the moment, but that is not to say that they cannot grab the odd goal and bring things back to square one.

Match Prediction

The win over Chievo might have been what the 2010 treble winners needed ahead of this game, and given the fact that Marseille’s form has been awful recently, Inter have a real chance of making a comeback. Things might go into extra-time after a 1-0 score in favour of the hosts after 90 minutes.

Inter v Marseille is sure to be a very close game. Who do you think will win? Make sure you visit OLBG for tips and to compare the current odds and betting markets available at all the important bookmakers.