Olympique Marseille Vs. Inter Milan, 2012 Champions League Round Of 16: Both Sides Slumping Heading Into European Tie

Head coach Claudio Ranieri of FC Internazionale Milano reacts during the Serie A match between AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy. Inter face Marseille in the UEFA Champions League on February 22, 2011. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Neither Inter Milan nor Olympique Marseille are playing well heading into Wednesday's Champions League match.

Inter Milan are in a bit of trouble, and instead of the UEFA Champions League looking like an opportunity to turn things around, it looks more like a chance for things to get worse.

Inter hit a new low over the weekend, dropping to seventh place in Serie A after a 3-0 home loss to Bologna, but this has been building. The loss marked their third consecutive league loss and second consecutive at the San Siro, putting Claudio Ranieri's future at the club in doubt. Now Inter heads to France for the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie and could see their European ambitions fall the way of their league ambitions.

Olympique Marseille aren't faring much better. They find themselves 12 points from the top in Ligue 1 and without a win in the league since Feb. 1. Add the possible absence of Alou Diarra to injury and the return of Diego Milito and Dejan Stankovic for Inter, and it's tough to say Marseille are in any better shape than their opponents with the exception of being at home in this first leg.

For his part, Marseille manager Didier Deschamps isn't looking past Inter.

"They are a team that is not playing well at the moment,'' Deschamps told L'Equipe. "I have seen their previous matches on television and there have been lots of individual defensive mistakes.

"I am convinced we will not see the same Inter as of their last four Serie A matches. They will not erase everything in four or five days, but collectively they will be better. The Champions League can bring the focus and determination they have missed.''

That is all well and good, Didier, but the same could be said of your squad. Neither Marseille nor Inter is in particularly good form and this match could come down to who screws up the least, which is exactly what we expect from the Champions League, ain't it?

Olympique Marseille vs. Inter Milan

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local

Venue: Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France

TV: FOX Soccer Channel (USA -- English), FOX Deportes (USA -- Spanish), Sportsnet regional networks (Canada), ITV 1 (UK)

Projected Lineups

Olympique Marseille (4-2-3-1): Steve Mandanda; Jérémy Morel, Nicolas N'Koulou, Souleymane Diawara, César Azpilicueta; Benoit Cheyrou, Charles Kaboré; André Ayew, Mathieu Valbuena, Morgan Amalfitano; Loïc Rémy

Inter Milan (4-3-1-2): Júlio César; Yuto Nagatomo, Walter Samuel, Lúcio, Maicon; Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Dejan Stankovic; Wesley Sneijder; Giampaolo Pazzini, Diego Forlan

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.