Ranieri to guide Inter to pivotal Champions League victory

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It could be a big night for two former Chelsea managers in the second round of Champions League group stage fixtures, with a win virtually imperative for Claudio Ranieri if Inter Milan harbour hopes of progressing in the tournament.

A home defeat against Trabzonspor in their opening Group B encounter was largely instrumental in Gian Piero Gasperini getting the sack at Inter and Ranieri will have to hit the ground running to keep alive the club’s Champions League prospects.

Ranieri’s first game on the Inter bench was a 3-1 Serie A victory over Bologna and it is 7/4 in the Champions League odds that another success is enjoyed in Russia.

Inter have twice won away fixtures against CSKA Moscow since 2007, with the hosts have only won two of their last nine home games in the competition.

But CSKA are flying high in the Russian league and are perhaps overpriced at 8/5 to beat Inter, while the best bet of the encounter may prove the 1/1 that both teams find the target.

The other clash in Group B sees Trabzonspor looking to build on their Inter victory by beating Lille.

Trabzonspor have won seven of their last 11 Champions League home games and are 7/4 to beat Lille, with the French champions 8/5 to take maximum points.

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho can expect a far easier Champions League evening as Real Madrid should have little trouble making it six points out of six in Group D by defeating Ajax.

Real Madrid’s odds are 2/9 to beat Ajax, while a repeat of their 2-0 success in the group stages of last year’s competition is priced at 7/1.

Lyon will be heavily fancied at 1/3 to win the other Group D showdown at home to Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, but the visitors have a decent record in France and can earn a draw at 4/1.

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