Spurs v Inter Milan – Champions League Preview
Spurs continue their massive week of games on Wednesday as they host Inter Milan in the Champions League. It is a must win game if Spurs wish to qualify for the knockout rounds, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side know it, as all Inter need is a point to progress at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur.
Thanks to Harry Kane’s winner against PSV Eindhoven last time out at Wembley, Spurs still have a chance of getting out of their Champions League group. They also go into the match with Inter Milan on the back of a five game winning run in all competitions after beating Chelsea 3-1 at the weekend. Mauricio Pochettino has brilliantly handled his squad to get the best out of them in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping for one more big effort on Wednesday against a talented Inter Milan team.
Inter’s victory over Spurs at the San Siro in September kick-started a run of seven straight wins in Serie A and the Nerazzurri are currently third in the table after comfortably beating Frosinone 3-0 at the weekend with goals from Keita Balde and Lautaro Martinez. However, before the international break, Inter suffered a 4-1 defeat away to Atalanta. Manager Luciano Spalletti heavily rotated his side for that game showing that, although Inter Milan have a strong starting eleven, there is not much depth beyond that.
A massive matchday. 👊
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 28, 2018
Spurs v Inter Milan Team News
Spurs will be without Juan Foyth at Wembley as he was not named in Spurs’ Champions League squad at the start of the season. An injury crisis prompted Mauricio Pochettino to pick him domestically and Foyth has now established himself as a reliable rotation option but, because of the need to register players trained in England, Foyth was omitted from the squad.
Jan Vertonghen returned to the match day squad against Chelsea on Saturday and so should replace Foyth in the starting lineup, with Eric Dier being the only other realistic option at centre back. This is because Davinson Sanchez is still injured and will not be available for the Inter Milan match, along with Kieran Trippier, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele.
However Pochettino confirmed in his press conference that Danny Rose will return after recovering from injury.
For Inter Milan, right back Sime Vrsaljko returns after a bicep injury. Other than that they should have a full strength side with Mauro Icardi leading the line. The Argentine has seven Serie A and three Champions League goals for Inter Milan this season and scored for Argentina for the first time this month against Mexico. Similarly Matteo Politano, who will play on the right wing, scored his first goal for Italy against the United States in the November international break.
Spurs v Inter Milan Predicted Lineup
Despite the brilliant performance against Chelsea, Mauricio Pochettino is likely to make some changes to his side. Hugo Lloris returns to the team after suspension in the last match versus PSV Eindhoven and will deputise for Paulo Gazzaniga.
As discussed, Jan Vertonghen will start in a back four containing Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld and Ben Davies. Although Danny Rose is available for selection we do not think that Pochettino will immediately put him in the starting lineup.
The five midfield positions are difficult to predict given Pochettino’s tendency to rotate. We think from the weekend Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli will maintain their places. Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura coming into the starting XI for Heung-min Son and Moussa Sissoko may seem like a strange choice because they both played so well on Saturday but Pochettino is keen to keep all his squad as fit as possible will another big encounter with Arsenal on Sunday.
What the Managers Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
“I think to have the possibility to fight for big things, that congestion in the fixtures means you are fighting for different competitions. In some points it’s very good. Of course it’s tough. Until January we are going to play 11 games in 40 days. That means every three days we will play. If we’re not right in our rotation and how we manage the players we could have problems. That’s why tomorrow we are going to rotate some players and Sunday again and Wednesday against Southampton and then the next weekend against Leicester. We are going to play now every three days and we need to manage in the best way.”
“It’s not only about rotating, it’s not replacing one bottle for another bottle, it’s the mix of the 11 players that is so important as well if you are going to compete. That is why we are working a lot, all the staff, to have all the best information for all the players, trying to take the best decision. One thing is very true, that all are going to be so important. All the squad. We are going to try to compete with all of the players being important to compete in the same way we want.” (football.london)
Inter Milan Manager Luciano Spalletti
“Pochettino is a very good coach, one of the greats. Tactically and technically we see his team play, his team changes line-up and system and you can see the hand of the coach behind the changes, one who knows his work.”
“You can see also from a psychological point of view he is really strong and that is an important quality.” (football.london)
Spurs v Inter Milan One to Watch: Milan Škriniar
Milan Skriniar: Has blocked more shots (14) than any other player in Serie A this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 22, 2018
Mauro Icardi will be singled out by many as the main threat for Inter Milan and rightly so because he is their talisman, but we have chosen Slovakian centre back Milan Škriniar as our one to watch.
The twenty-three year old has been linked with big money moves to Premier League teams Manchester United and Chelsea because of his dominant performances in Serie A. He is the most expensive Slovakian of all time after moving from fellow Italian club Sampdoria for around twenty million and has continue his ascent with Inter Milan.
Skriniar is the epitome of the modern day centre back, as he is excellent on the ball, but also excels in one-on-one defensive situations. Along with centre half partner Stefan de Vrij, he will attempt to keep Harry Kane quiet at Wembley.
Spurs v Inter Milan Referee
Cüneyt Çakır will be the referee on Wednesday. The name will not be familiar but the face might me. The Turkish referee has been an elite referee for near a decade and was the official that sent off Luis Nani when he played for Manchester United against Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Not only that, he officiated the 2015 Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus and more recently was the referee of the World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia.
Spurs v Inter Milan Predicted Score
The result against on Saturday will have given Spurs the belief that they can beat anyone on their day, especially with a number key men out injured. Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen are all players for the big occasion and will be needed on Wednesday.
It will be a tight game but we are expecting Spurs to come out on top.
Our prediction is Spurs 2-1 Inter Milan.
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