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Group B

Spartak Moscow “owe their fans” an improved performance as they look to avoid a second Champions League defeat to Internazionale and keep alive their chances of qualifying from Group B.

Spartak have just a point to show from their three games to date after defeats by Bayern Munich and Inter eitehr side of a home draw against Sporting.

“The artificial pitch will be the same for both sides – our advantage will come from our supporters,” said Spartak coach Vladimir Fedotov.

“We owe them a good performance because of the Yaroslavl match, but we have to be alert for the full 90 minutes against Inter and we cannot relax.

“Their recent displays have confirmed they’re a top European team who know when to up the tempo and when to slow down a game. They have plenty of quality.”

Aside from long-term casualties Quincy Owusu-Abeyie and Nikita Bazhenov, Geder is doubtful meaning and Martin Stranzl is expected to start.

Inter coach Roberto welcomes back Zlatan Ibrahimovic from suspension along with Fabio Grosso and the Swede is expected to partner Julio Cruz, up front.

“We played well in the first game against Spartak, particularly in the first half when Cruz scored twice. We have to learn from that and play well for the 90 minutes this time,” said Mancini, who is without midfielders Esteban Cambiasso and Patrick Vieira as well forwards Alvaro Recoba and Adriano.

Reflecting on recent criticism of his team, Mancini added: “When you win you’re great, when you lose you’re a donkey. I don’t see particular differences between our performances in the Champions League and in Serie A. We lost our first two Champions League games because we had a player sent off in each. That left us needing to win every match and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Probable teams
Wojciech Kowalewski; Roman Shishkin, Martin Stranzl, Martin Jiránek, Clemente Rodríguez; Vladimir Bystrov, Mozart, Radoslav Ková?, Yegor Titov, Denis Boyarintsev; Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Júlio César; Maicon, Marco Materazzi, Iván Córdoba, Fabio Grosso; Javier Zanetti, Olivier Dacourt, Dejan Stankovi?, Luís Figo; Julio Cruz, Zlatan Ibrahimovi?.

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