Champions League

Milito confident Inter can beat Lille

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Inter Milan striker Diego Milito is confident he and his team-mates can put their domestic woes behind them and beat Lille in Wednesday's Champions League encounter at the San Siro.

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Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Juventus was Inter's fifth loss in nine league games and left the Italians one place above the Serie A relegation zone.

"It's a difficult time for us as things aren't going our way," Milito said to www.inter.it. on Tuesday "But we are a top team and I'm sure we will overcome this moment.

"I'm certain that tomorrow we will play a great game.

"After defeats, this team always proves its worth and against Lille we have an opportunity to show it.

"We want to win and finish top of the group and in order to do so, we must get three points against Lille."

Inter, who won 1-0 at Lille two weeks ago, are top of Group B, two points clear of CSKA Moscow and Trabzonspor, who face each other in the other pool game.

Inter coach Claudio Ranieri will be forced to make changes to his line-up after losing Maicon to a hamstring injury and Yuto Nagatomo to a thigh problem.

To complicate matters for Ranieri, Wesley Sneijder and Esteban Cambiasso are doubtful for the encounter with minor knocks.

"I would like for all my players to be healthy and in great form," Ranieri said. "But that is not the case heading into this game.

"I am nevertheless optimistic that we can do well tomorrow despite being without several players."

Ranieri knows his side cannot take Lille lightly and for good reason.

Inter have not faired well against French opposition at the San Siro, having lost three and won just one of their last five games at home to Ligue 1 sides.

"We have a lot of respect for Lille," Ranieri said. "They are a very good side.

"They play well on the road and we can't forget that Lille beat AC Milan at the San Siro (2006).

Lille will be looking for their first win in the competition this season after collecting just two points from three games.

Les Dogues go into the encounter on the back of a goalless draw at Valenciennes that lifted them to third in the standings and extended their unbeaten run in the league to 11 games.

Lille coach Rudi Garcia will be without injured Florent Balmont while Marko Basa and Aurelien Chedjou are doubtful through injury.
 

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