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?
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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.

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism