This is it. This is Inter’s moment. After many years of pain and suffering, the Nerazzurri will take to the field and hear the Champions League anthem in front of 70,000 of their closest friends.
And they do so playing a team that is without four of their best players, with Alli, Lloris, Trippier and Alderweireld all out for various reasons.
While the Nerazzurri have had a sub-par start to their Serie A campaign, including two home losses against Sassuolo and Parma, there’s reason to believe their approach to tomorrow’s game will be quite different to the aforementioned duo.
It’s finally Handanovic and Icardi’s chance to shine on a stage they’ve gone so long without. It’s the chance to begin a journey (in a very tough group) that will right the wrongs of a mostly failed decade. Everything after their 2010 Champions League winning campaign went wrong, now with a team featuring stars such as Nainggolan, Icardi and World Cup finalists Perisic and Brozovic, Inter can dream.
From the Spurs’ point of view, their season has not gotten off to a flying start either. Spalletti should view this as an opportunity and play a very straightforward style attack. A 4-2-3-1 formation should give them the strength in the middle to cause the London side a whole host of problems.
Inter XI: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah; Brozovic, Vecino; Perisic, Nainggolan, Politano; Icardi
Tottenham XI: Vorm; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Moura, Eriksen, Son; Kane.
The two sides have met in two separate campaigns, with a knockout round fixture in 2013 going in favor of the English. Three years later in the UEFA Europa League, Tottenham knocked Inter out on away goals in the Round of 16.
Keys to the Game
- Take it to Spurs. Without four of their biggest players, this is a wounded side that is facing one of their toughest fixtures of the group. For Inter, it’s a must win. Anything less and Tottenham will feel like they escaped Milano with a success and the Nerazzurri will already on the backfoot of an uphill climb.
- Mauro Icardi has stuck with Inter through it’s lowest moment. Now all eyes will be on him to see if he can live up to club football’s biggest stage.
- De Vrij and Skriniar have to lock down Harry Kane. While Alli may be out, the triple threat of Son, Kane and Eriksen is very much alive…
- Test their back-line. No Alderweireld may be a massive loss for Spurs, but they do have Davinson Sanchez to call upon. His experience in big European matches is limited. Take it to them.