Marseille Inter Milan Odds : Ranieri under pressure as Nerazzurri visit Stade Velodrome in Champions League
Marseille will be hoping to make home advantage count on Wednesday evening when they take on Inter Milan in the first-leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.
This is undoubtedly one of the toughest fixtures to predict in the Champions League this week and even though Inter are overall favourites to progress, the French side will look to take the game to their visitors.
Marseille will want to improve on their form from the group stages though. Despite progressing in second place, they lost two of their three home games with just a single victory in front of their home fans in Europe this season.
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This victory did come against German Champions Borussia Dortmund though, so they are capable of raising their game when strong opposition in town. They actually hammered the German side 3-0, so will take heart from this ahead of facing Inter on Wednesday.
Domestically, Didier Deschamps’ men had a poor start in Ligue 1 – they only won one of their opening 10 games – but they have dragged things back in recent weeks with just one defeat in 17 games to see them climb to 4th.
Challenging for the title still seems a long way off though, so the Champions League is extremely important for Marseille. They will be without lively striker Loic Remy who is out because of a thigh injury.
As for Inter Milan, well they have enjoyed playing on the road in Europe this season. They lost two games in the group stages, but both were at home. Away from Italy, they won twice and drew once.
However, unlike Marseille, Inter’s domestic form has slumped dramatically in recent weeks. Over Christmas and at the start of 2012 things were going well for Claudio Ranieri’s men, but they have now lost five of their last six games and it’s mini crisis time.
Pressure is really on the ex Chelsea boss and after a dismal 3-0 loss to Bologna in Serie A on Friday night, fans staged protest against their manager and a change at the top seems imminent.
With this in mind, an away victory in this first-leg would be extremely welcome. They need something to re-ignite their season and perhaps Wednesday evening is the stage for just that.
Marseille v Inter Milan is certainly expected to be a closely fought battle and it gets underway from 7.45pm on Wednesday evening.