You only have to say Inter Milan and Tottenham in the same breath and memories come flooding back of Gareth Bale’s stunning performances against the Italians.
The last time these teams met in a UEFA Champions League fixture in Milan, Gareth Bale scored a remarkable treble for the visitors – albeit in a losing cause in their debut season in the competition. This time, however, it is the English club who boast more recent UEFA Champions League experience; while this is Tottenham’s third successive group campaign, Inter have not been at this stage since 2011/12.
• In two pulsating meetings in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage, Inter withstood a superb fightback from ten-man Tottenham to win 4-3 in the first game at San Siro, despite Bale’s hat-trick. Spurs turned the tables in north London, running out 3-1 winners as both sides progressed to the last 16.
• There were also plenty of goals when the sides renewed acquaintance in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 16, Spurs winning the home first leg 3-0 – Jan Vertonghen scoring the final goal – but Inter levelling the tie on aggregate back in Italy to force extra time. Emmanuel Adebayor’s 96th-minute strike proved enough for Tottenham to progress on away goals despite a 4-1 defeat on the night.
• Fourth in Serie A in 2017/18, Inter are the last Italian team to win the UEFA Champions League, in 2010 – their third European Cup triumph, and first in 45 years.
• This is the 12th time Inter have been in the group stage – but the first since 2011/12.
• Inter have progressed from their group in their last eight UEFA Champions League campaigns.
• Inter did not take part in UEFA competition in 2017/18; their most recent European campaign came the previous season, when they failed to progress from their UEFA Europa League group.
• The Nerazzurri have won their last four home games against English visitors, most recently a 1-0 defeat of Southampton in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage. They have won ten of their 15 home games against Premier League clubs (D3 L2).
• Third in last season’s Premier League, Tottenham are in the group stage for the fourth time – and the third season in a row.
• Spurs got to the round of 16 in 2017/18, losing to Inter’s domestic rivals Juventus. Tottenham drew the away first leg 2-2 – having been 2-0 down – but went out after a 2-1 reverse at Wembley. They have won only one of their last seven fixtures against Italian sides (D3 L3).
• Tottenham’s most successful UEFA Champions League campaign came in 2010/11, when they reached the quarter-finals. That featured their only victory in Italy – a 1-0 success at AC Milan in the round of 16 first leg. Their record in the country is W1 D4 L4.
• The London club picked up seven points on their travels in last season’s group stage, finishing top of their section ahead of eventual champions Real Madrid.
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