Claudio Ranieri takes his Inter Milano side to France seeking a third successive UEFA Champions League quarter-final place – as well as a small piece of revenge over Olympique de Marseille coach Didier Deschamps.
As coach of AS Monaco FC, Deschamps denied Ranieri’s Chelsea FC a place in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League final with a 5-3 aggregate success.
The clubs met for the first time in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup when Jose Anigo’s OM recorded 1-0 home and away wins in the quarter-finals en route to reaching the final. Didier Drogba hit the only goal in Marseille and Camel Meriem’s strike settled the second leg. Javier Zanetti appeared in both games for an Inter side coached by Alberto Zaccheroni.
Home advantage may not hold its usual significance in this tie given both teams’ records at their own grounds this season. It is a curious coincidence that each lost two of their group stage matches on home turf, taking just three points at home but seven on their travels.
Winners in 2010 and quarter-finalists last term, Inter are competing in the UEFA Champions League’s last 16 for the eighth season running. For OM, this is their second consecutive campaign after an 11-year gap; they have not been beyond the last 16 since lifting the trophy in 1993.
Group B winners Inter have already won on French soil this term, beating LOSC Lille Metropole 1-0 in October – the first of back-to-back victories against the Ligue 1 club. Their overall record in France is W5 D3 L3.
Marseille lost their most recent home game against Italian visitors, 2-1 against AC Milan in the 2009/10 group stage. Their overall record against Serie A sides at the Stade Velodrome is W4 D1 L2.
Marseille beat Milan 1-0 in the 1993 UEFA Champions League final but lost 3-0 against Parma FC in the 1999 UEFA Cup final.