Inter Milan vs Werder Bremen Preview
Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf will be without three key players for the Champions League tie at Inter Milan.
Claudio Pizarro, Clemens Fritz and Torsten Frings have all been ruled out of the match at the San Siro and Schaaf admits the already difficult task of beating the cup holders has been made even harder.
"These injuries hit us hard," he said on the eve of the game. "In view of our upcoming challenges, these losses mean a drop in quality for the team."
The trio are not only doubtful for tomorrow, but also the Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend.
"We hope that all three get back as soon as possible, but there is the risk that they will miss the next two games," added Schaaf.
Their loss is just the latest setback in what has been a difficult start to the season for the northern Germany side.
Sunday's derby triumph over Hamburg was only their second win of the season while they drew their Champions League opener against Tottenham.
But tomorrow's match is arguably the toughest in their group.
"Inter are the clear favourites and it is impressive what this team is capable of," he said.
Schaaf can however welcome Petri Pasanen back into his defence after he missed the derby with Hamburg due to injury.
Inter boss Rafael Benitez is wary of Werder despite their mixed form.
He said: "Werder Bremen are a team with a strong mentality and experience, it will certainly be a difficult game.
"I don't know the Werder Bremen coach personally but I do know that he has experience and quality.
"Every team in the group drew their first match, so everyone wants to win now. There's more pressure than before. However, we have the belief that we can win."
Benitez has question marks over forwards Diego Milito - the scorer of both goals in last season's final win over Bayern Munich - and Goran Pandev.
"We will see tomorrow when we do another training session," said Benitez when asked whether the pair would be fit.
Returning to the squad for tomorrow's clash is Brazilian midfielder Mancini.
"He's an experienced player, it's important for him and us that he has a chance to play," said former Liverpool boss Benitez.