Ranieri hoping for last-16 place
© AFP

Inter Milan coach Claudio Ranieri is keen to wrap up qualification for the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds so he can concentrate on the league.

A draw against Trabzonspor here in Group B will be enough to see Inter into the last 16, while a victory would guarantee top spot. However, Ranieri is wary of a team who stunned the Nerazzurri 1-0 at the San Siro in September.

"I believe Trabzonspor will play with a lot of determination but we want to secure qualification," said the coach before expressing his surprise at the Turks' warm reception. "I want to thank Trabzonspor's fans who greeted us with scarves and flowers at the airport. I was surprised. Obviously it will be different on the field but thank you.

"We'll be playing a team who were losing to Lille but hit back, they know how to play football, they're compact and have the support of their fans."

I believe Trabzonspor will play with a lot of determination but we want to secure qualification.
Claudio Ranieri, Inter Milan coach

Although Inter lost their first group game and have had a disastrous start in the league, they have turned things around in Europe. Three straight wins since Ranieri took over from Gian Piero Gasperini has put the 2010 champions four points clear at the top of the group.

"When I arrived we needed to take hold of the situation and the lads made a great effort (winning 3-2) in Moscow (against CSKA)."

Although Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder is injured and will miss out, defenders Lucio and Yuto Nagatomo are available again. "The important thing for me is to be here and able to contribute to the team," said Japan full-back Nagatomo.

"I've worked hard in the last two days with my team-mates and I have no problem and no pain. I wanted to get back to playing and we need to win."