Inter will be traveling to Wembley to face off with Tottenham in match day 5 of the UEFA Champions league, in what will be an enthralling match between the two teams, with both teams having so much on the line in this match.
Today we will be going through both teams looking at the pros and cons and weighing up each team’s chances at progression. Let’s start with the home team Tottenham.
Pros: Momentum is what they are carrying into this clash, winning 5 of their last 5 matches. When these two teams met way back on match day 1 Tottenham were in all sorts, winning only 3 out their previous 5 matches, with a lack of dominance on the field. This time round they are in hot form, most recently defeating Chelsea 3-1 and ending their unbeaten start to the season. Other than momentum they have the ‘home’ field advantage. Regardless of the team, it is always a positive when you are playing in front of your own fans, this is something that favoured them in their weekend clash against Chelsea, and will favour them again in Thursday mornings match against Inter. The final pro would have to be striker Harry Kane. If it wasn’t for 2 goals in the final 12 minutes against PSV, they would have no chance of qualification through to the next stages; Harry Kane to Tottenham is like Icardi to Inter, pivotal, crucial and a game changer. If he is on top form on the night, anything is possible.
Cons: Sometimes a pro can also be a con; the win against Chelsea can also act as negative aspect for the spurs. Having to field a full strength squad to guarantee the 3 points against Chelsea, means that there will be the factor of fatigue. Scheduling is also a con for the Spurs, as mentioned before they faced Chelsea Sunday morning, Inter on Thursday morning following by the north London derby against Arsenal on Monday morning, their schedule could not look more chaotic and the question needs to be asked, will Pochettino make his substitutions with the Arsenal match at the back of his mind? Surely not, but I have seen crazier stuff.
Moving onto the away team Inter Milan lets analyse the teams pros and cons leading up to Thursday mornings match.
Pros: Inter have a couple of pros leading into the match against Tottenham on Thursday. Any points equal qualification into the next round of the competition, a luxury that Tottenham does not have. Reminiscent of the match day 1 which seems to be so long ago, Inter will be hoping to capitalise on their last result, hoping to ensure knockout stage qualification. Another pro which will benefit Inter on the day is player rotation. On the weekend Inter fielded in what can be called a second string team, with the likes of Brozovic (suspended) Icardi and Perisic being rested with anticipation of the Tottenham match. Unlike Inter, Tottenham do not have the squad depth that Inter boasts so on the night this may play a large factor.
Cons: in Inter’s two Champions League victories, they came from behind both times beating both Tottenham and PSV 2-1 after trailing 1-0. Now playing at Wembley Inter cannot afford to slip up and fall behind, and with the majority of the crowd supporting Tottenham, the pressure is on for Inter to perform. Further this, Inter cannot become complacent in their performance. It would be suicide for them to approach this match only playing for a draw. Failure to capitalize on opportunities will come back to haunt Inter. Unlike their most recent fixture against Frosinone, failure to put the ball in the back of the net against an opponent like Tottenham will come back to haunt them, as they are a team that will not give the ball up easily. Fatigue was mentioned as a con for Tottenham, but this factor will only show in the final stages of the second half, and this is where Inter need to capitalise.
Pochettino will need to select a squad which is full of vigour. With players like Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele out to Injury selection will be imperative. Predicted line up for Tottenham is: Lloris, Aurier, Foyth/Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele, Son, and Kane.
Spalletti needs to ensure the squad he selects will be attacking and full of passion against the English outfit. Predicted line up: Handanovic, Vrsaljko/Miranda, De Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah, Vecino, Brozovic, Politano, Nainggolan, Perisic, and Icardi.
Score prediction: Tottenham 0 – Inter 1
Written by Bruno Altatamore