?Inter host Rapid Wien in the second leg of their Europa League last 32 tie at San Siro on Thursday night.
Lautaro Martinez’s solitary strike secured a precious win and an elusive away goal in Austria to give the Nerazzurri a relatively comfortable cushion as they look to reach the last 16 of European competition for the first time since 2014/2015.
Meanwhile, their opponents bounced back from that ?loss with a 5-2 thrashing over Hartberg in the Austrian Cup quarter-finals, but have it all to do in Italy.
Check out 90min’s breakdown below.
Where to Watch
|?When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 21 February?|
|?What Time Is Kick Off?||?20:00 (BST)|
|?Where Is It Played?||San Siro|
|?TV Channel/Live Stream?||?BT Sport 3|
?Inter boss Luciano Spalletti will look to freshen up his squad from Sunday’s 2-1 league victory over Sampdoria, with Matias Vecino and Kwadwo Asamoah two of several likely to be recalled.
??Mauro Icardi is set to miss out once more amid an ongoing contract dispute, whilst Sime Vrsalkjo is a long term absentee after requiring knee surgery which is set to keep him out for the remainder of the campaign.
Rapid Wien manager Dietmar Kuhbauer will be without long term absentee Tamas Szanto, who has been sidelined since March 2018.
|Inter?||?Handanovic; Cedric, De Vrij, Miranda, Asamoah; Vecino, Brozovic, Politano, Perisic, Nainggolan; Martinez.|
|?Rapid Wien||?Strebinger; Potzmann, Sonnleitner, Hofmann, Mbombo; Thurnwald, Grahovac, Ljubicic, Ivan; Schwab, Berisha.|
Head to Head Record
Prior to Inter’s victory over their opponents last week, these sides had met just twice in two-legged affairs in Europe, with both each registering aggregate victories.
The Austrian outfit have failed to win any of their last ten meetings against Italian sides, drawing three and losing seven. However, their last success came against Inter in the former UEFA Cup back in September 1990.
After enduring a four-match winless run after the winter break when they managed just one goal, Spalletti’s side have turned the screw in recent weeks and come into this fixture on the back of three consecutive wins.
Although they’ll likely have to manage without star man Icardi, fellow striker Martinez could prove the ideal interim replacement for his compatriot.
The 21-year-old has netted five goals in 23 appearances in all competitions this term as he looks to guide his side to a first trophy since 2010/2011 under former boss Jose Mourinho.
The Europa League doesn’t make for good reading for the 32 time Austrian champions, who have lost the most games of any European side (23) since the reformation from the UEFA Cup in 2009. This is their final game before the start of their domestic campaign on Sunday.
Here’s how each side has faired in their last five fixtures.
|?Inter 2-1 Sampdoria (17/2)||?Rapid Wien 5-2 Hartberg (17/2)|
|?Rapid Wien 0-1 Inter (14/2)||?Rapid Wien 0-1 Inter (14/2)|
|?Parma 0-1 Inter (9/2)||?Austria Wien 6-1 Rapid Wien (16/12)|
|?Inter 0-1 Bologna (3/2)||?Rapid Wien 1-0 Rangers (13/12)|
|?Inter 1-1 Lazio (3-4 Pens) (31/1)||?Rapid Wien 0-0 SK Sturm Graz (9/12)|
Despite holding a 1-0 advantage, Spalletti knows his side can be susceptible to shock results in Europe, notably dropping out of their Champions League group into this competition.
Another shrewd defensive performance may be needed to keep their opponents at bay, who will no doubt have to play on the front foot to progress themselves.
With their hopes of a top four finish in Serie A not a certainty, Inter will be aiming to go all the way in securing a Champions League spot next season.
Prediction: Inter 2-1 Rapid Wien