Inter host Eintracht Frankfurt in their Europa League round of 16 second leg on Thursday, with the tie finely poised following a 0-0 stalemate at the Commerzbank Arena.
Both sides recorded domestic wins in their games following the first leg, but will have their attentions firmly towards qualification to the next round with the Europa League both club’s best chance of silverware this term.
Inter secured a routine 2-0 home win over SPAL in Serie A, while Eintracht ran out comfortable 3-0 winners of Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga. Luciano Spalletti’s side will boast the advantage of playing on home soil, but Eintracht have enjoyed a great season in Germany and will be looking to upset the odds.
Read 90min’s preview of Thursday’s match below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 14 March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||San Siro|
|TV Channel/Stream?||BT Sport ESPN|
|Referee?||Ovidiu Alin Ha?egan|
Radja Nainggolan remains sidelined for Inter after suffering an injury in training last week while Matias Vecino returns from a suspension the midfielder served on the weekend. Croatian World Cup finalist Sime Vrsaljiko is still missing for the foreseeable future after having had knee surgery.
The biggest loss to Die Adler is regarding Ante Rebic, with the Croatian unlikely to return from a knee problem to feature. Other absentees for Adi Hutter are defensive duo Timothy Chandler and David Abraham, who are both out with muscular problems, while midfielder Lucas Torro hasn’t featured since November due to an abductor tear.
|Inter||Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar, Dalbert; Gagliardini, Brozovic; Politano, Joao Mario, Candreva; Lautaro Martinez.|
|Eintracht||Trapp; Hinteregger, Hasebe, Toure, Fernandes, Rode, De Guzman, Kostic, Da Costa, Paciencia, Jovic.|
Head to Head Record
Last weeks meeting between the sides was in fact the first ever competitive meeting between the clubs. It was a nervy affair when these two locked horns last week, however, I Nerazzurri should have taken a lead into Thursday’s leg at the San Siro but Martinez was unable to convert his first half penalty as the clash ended goalless.
Inter’s previous 47 meetings with German opposition have wielded 22 wins, while Eintracht boast ten wins from their 18 matches against Italian sides.
Inter will have been pleased to return to winning ways with their 2-0 win over SPAL on Sunday, after their draw with Frankfurt was preceded by a disappointing loss to Cagliari in Serie A.
The club’s indifferent form throughout the season has seen them occupy fourth in the league, with hopes of earning a Champions League place next season firmly in the balance.
Eintracht will head into the game full of confidence having stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 matches. Their 3-0 win over Fortuna on Monday was their fifth of that run, as the club sit fifth in the Bundesliga table.
Here is how each team has performed in their last five matches:
|Inter 2-0 SPAL (10/3)||Fortuna 0-3 Frankfurt (11/3)|
|Frankfurt 0-0 Inter (7/3)||Frankfurt 0-0 Inter (7/3)|
|Cagliari 2-1 Inter (1/3)||Frankfurt 3-2 Hoffenheim (2/3)|
|Fiorentina 3-3 Inter (24/2)||Hannover 96 0-3 Frankfurt (24/2)|
|Inter 4-0 Rapid Wienna (21/2)||Frankfurt 4-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (21/02)|
Thursday’s clash will be a tough one to call with both sides suffering with injuries to key players ahead of the San Siro showdown. Inter’s performance in the first leg will have given them confidence, despite Martinez’s missed penalty, and are well aware of the expectations of their supporters.
However, Eintracht are a strong team and even without Ante Rebic can cause any defence issues going forward. Should be a tight affair, with the away side quite possibly pinching it on away goals.
Prediction: Inter 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt