Champions League Draw: Who’s in Inter’s Group B?
Inter started the night in pot 1 for the 2011/12 Champions League group stage draw and by the end of the evening we knew who our opponents would be for Group B-
CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Yet again it has come to pass that Inter must travel to Russia for a Champions league game, which is becoming something of a habit in recent years. The Draw puts us against opponents that we know with the exception of Lille who we have never faced in a competitive European match before, so the result of that should be interesting. So how did we do previously against the other two clubs?
2007/08 (group stage) – 23-10-2007, Champions League, CSKA Moscow 1-2 Inter (32 Jo, 55 Crespo, 83 Samuel)
2007/08 (group stage) – 07-11-2009, Champions League, Inter 4-2 CSKA Moscow (23 Jo, 31 Vagner Love, 32 Ibrahimovic, 34 Cambiasso, 68 Cambiasso, 76 Ibrahimovic)
2009/10 (quarter-final, first leg) – 31-03-2010, Champions League, Inter 1-0 CSKA Moscow 1-0 (67 Milito)
2009/10 (quarter final, second leg) – 06-04-2010, Champions League, CSKA Moscow 0-1 Inter (6 Sneijder)
There have been two previous matches against Trabzonspor:
1983/84 (first round, first leg) – 14-09-1983, UEFA Cup, Trabzonspor 1-0 Inter (88 Tuncay)
1983/84 (first round, second leg) – 28-09-1983, UEFA Cup, Inter 2-0 Trabzonspor (48 pen. Altobelli, 86 Collovati)
As you can see from the previous results Inter have the upper hand going in to these matches but we should also note that in recent years we seemed to have made the Champions League group stages as hard as possible for ourselves, so although we should qualify quite easily at the top of the group we cannot take anything for granted.
What do Inter and our opponents think of the draw?
Gian Piero Gasperini, Inter coach
I know CSKA and Lille quite well, but not Trabzonspor; we will have to study the way they play very carefully, because Turkish football usually produces tough opponents and it’s improving a lot. Moreover, when you play in Turkey the fans are always very spirited.
At the moment, CSKA are the strongest team in Russia, and they also have the most international experience of our opponents. I faced Lille two years ago in the Europa League, when I coached Genoa. At that time, they were an up-and-coming club, well organised, and that’s why they won their league. They have sold some players, but preserved their strong squad.
Alan Dzagoev, CSKA midfielder
I had no preferred opponent. We ended up in a very interesting group. Lille are the French champions and that says it all. We shouldn’t get messed up worrying about Inter, who are one of the top clubs in Europe. I know nothing about Trabzonspor, but I think it’ll be us, the French and the Italians who will fight for the round of 16 places.
Rudi Garcia, Lille coach
We have every chance. It could have been a more glamorous group, maybe with a bit less travel involved, but no matter: we’ll get our teeth into this competition. The favourites? Inter Milan no doubt. Even though they have changed a number of players recently, they still have a lot of talent. We’re going to have to get our skates on to learn about how CSKA and Trabzonspor play, but our experience of playing Fenerbahçe in Turkey last year should be useful.
Sadri Şener, Trabzonspor president
It is the best possible draw for us. We are as strong as our opponents in the group and want to represent Turkey in the best way we can in the Champions League.
Our champions League 2011/12 campaign starts at home to Trabzonspor in mid September, why not go and support our boys at this match or any of the others?
Wednesday 14 September:
FC Internazionale v Trabzonspor
Tuesday 27 September:
CSKA Moscow v FC Internazionale
Tuesday 18 October:
Lille v FC Internazionale
Wednesday 2 November:
FC Internazionale v Lille
Tuesday 22 November:
Trabzonspor v FC Internazionale
Wednesday 7 December:
FC Internazionale v CSKA Moscow
Captain Zanetti’s opinion on the draw
“We get to go to Russia quite often, don’t we?”began Captain Zanetti as he analysed the Champions League draw in Monte Carlo over the phone speaking to Inter Channel. “Overall we can say that it’s a balanced group once again. None of those games will be easy: all our opponents are useful, tricky sides. Obviously we’ll try to do well right from the first match and go into each game on form – that’s important.”
“Lille are the current champions of France,”Zanetti continued.“In Turkey there’s always a tough atmposphere and going to Russia is no joke either. We’re in good shape, though. We’ve been working to get ready for the start of the league season and if it doesn’t go ahead this weekend we’ll keep training to make sure we’re at our best.”
The full group stage draw 2011/12
F.C. Internazionale (Ita), CSKA Moscow (Rus), Lille (Fra), Trabzonspor (Tur)
Manchester United (Eng), Benfica (Por), Basilea (Sui), Otelul Galati (Rom)
Real Madrid (Spa), Olympique Lyonnais (Fra), Ajax (Ned), Dinamo Zagreb (Cro)
Chelsea (Eng), Valencia (Spa), Bayer Leverkusen (Ger), Genk (Bel)
Arsenal (Eng), Marseille (Fra), Olympiacos (Gre), Borussia Dortmund (Ger)
Porto (Por), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr), Zenit St. Petersburg (Rus), APOEL Nicosia (Cyp)
Barcelona (Spa), AC Milan (Ita), BATE Borisov (Blr), Viktoria Plzen (Cze)
As you can see above Inter have been lucky and drawn one of the easier groups so now all we need to do is play well and qualify for the round of 16.