Inter unfazed by CSKA's '12th man'

Jose Mourinho believes playing on an artificial pitch will be like child's play for his
Internazionale team as they look to knock out CSKA Moscow in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tonight.

"We know how we want to play there, [we are] aware of the difficulties regarding the opposition and the artificial pitch, which will be a first for everyone," Mourinho said. "But I was joking with some of the players before, thinking of how we used to play in the road when we were children. 'If you can play in the road,' I said, 'why can't you play on an artificial pitch too?'"

The Serie A champions carry a 1-0 advantage from last week, when CSKA had their goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to thank for keeping their hopes alive with a series of fine saves. However, the home side's chances of overturning the deficit to become the first Russian side to reach the Champions League semi-finals have not been helped by the absence of the midfielders Milos Krasic and Yevgeny Aldonin, who are suspended.

Krasic, though, was confident CSKA's familiarity with the synthetic surface could swing the tie their way. "I won't be able to help my team in Moscow but I think we still have a good chance," the Serbia international said. "I think the synthetic surface should give us a distinct edge. It could be our 12th man against Inter."

The visitors will be confident after dominating the first leg and warming up for the second with a 3-0 win over Bologna in Serie A on Saturday. They should be at full strength, too. Brazil centre-back Lucio and his midfield compatriot Thiago Motta, who scored twice against Bologna, are available after serving suspensions last week.

Playmaker Wesley Sneijder may start after resting for most of the Bologna match, having hurt his ankle in the first leg. Mourinho also has forward Mario Balotelli, who scored on Saturday after spending a month on the sidelines after a row with his manager.

CSKA Moscow (probable): Akinfeev; V Berezutsky, A Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Shchennikov; Semberas, Honda, Dzagoyev, Mamayev, Gonzalez; Necid.

Internazionale (probable): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Motta; Sneijder; Eto'o, Milito.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there