Joe Cole of LOSC Lille Metropole battles with Thiago Motta of FC Internazionale Milano during the UEFA Champions League, group B match between LOSC Lille Metropole and FC Internazionale Milano at Stade Lille-Metropole in Lille, France. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Inter Milan are struggling in Serie A, but in good shape in the Champions League. Lille's domestic and European form is exactly the opposite. Wednesday, they square off in the UEFA Champions League.
Coming into their UEFA Champions League matchup, both Inter Milan and Lille are coming off intense games in their respective national leagues. Inter is coming off a 2-1 loss to arch-rival Juventus, putting them 17th in Serie A. However, they still lead their Champions League group. On the other hand, Lille is coming off a 0-0 draw against regional opponent, Valenciennes, and still hold 3rd place in Ligue 1. Unfortunately for the Ligue 1 champion, they need a win to keep their Champions League knockout stage hopes alive.
Having lost Maicon, an importance piece of its offence and defence, Inter Milan will be looking to have a strong defensive basis to counter a young offensive LOSC team lead by Belgian prodigy Eden Hazard and English veteran Joe Cole.
It will be a clash of styles, with Claudio Ranieri, who was brought to save Inter Milan from the quicksand trap it seems to be in, on one side.
On the other side, Rudi Garcia comes from a new school of thought; one based in fluid and offensive soccer, letting the individual talents express themselves on the pitch. A big disadvantage for LOSC is its central defence that has been decimated by injuries. The Aurelien Chedjou-Marco Basa duo has not played much together, though they are arguably one of the best CB duos in Ligue 1 on paper.
LOSC had so much promise before the competition, drawing a seemingly easier than average Champions League group, but have dropped important points against CSKA Moscow and Trabzonspor along the way. The full three points are Lille's only option to keep their hopes alive. Inter Milan does not need to win, per se, but a victory would give them the confidence they need to tackle a difficult Serie A campaign.
If you had to watch one game in this week of Champions League action, I suggest this sure to be exciting game at the San Siro.
Inter Milan projected lineup (4-4-2): Castellazzi - Nagatomo, Lucio, Ranocchia, Chivu - J.Zanetti (C), Cambiasso, Stankovic, Sneijder - D.Milito, Pazzini
LOSC projected lineup (4-3-3): Landreau - Debuchy, Rozenhal, Chedjou (or Beria), Beria (or Bonnart) - Pedretti, Mavuba (C), I.Gueye - J.Cole, M.Sow, Hazard
We'll have coverage of all of Wednesday's Champions League action in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday, Matchday 4 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, check out SB Nation Soccer.