To the San Siro then on Thursday night, scene, just over two years ago, of one of our most famous recent European wins against AC Milan. But it’s the other flavour in the city we play this time of course, the one who inflicted one of the worst halves of European football we’re likely ever to experience the last time we faced them in Italy.
But that was then and this is now, plus we have a three goal start this time. Overcoming a deficit of this size is far from impossible and Inter may take heart from Barcelona’s comeback in the Nou Camp last night, what won’t inspire them though is their 1-0 loss at home to Bologna on Sunday, “a terrible performance by Stramaccioni’s team” according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. That’s what I like to hear.
No Bale. He’ll be replaced by Holtby I suspect with Lennon probably only fit enough for the bench at best. The lack of alternatives, unless he’s brave and gives Carroll a start means that Vilas-Boas will probably continue with Livermore in the middle alongside Parker, he’s limited but at least you know what you’re going to get. (Fill in your own punch line here.) Friedel will come in in goal, Gallas for one of Vertonghen or Dawson and maybe even Caulker will be get a go if AVB is feeling cocky. Sigurdsson has done enough of late to merit a start even if wide left wouldn’t be his first choice of position. If you were to place a bet with Unibet we’d go for Holtby to score first as he is showing good odds.
Us turning Inter Milan over so easily at WHL was greeted with barely a shrug by most observers such has our stock risen (and theirs fallen?) in the last few years. Were we to somehow throw this lead away then the absence of Bale, Lennon, Lloris, Dempsey, Kaboul and Adebayor would have proved important and costly but paradoxically will also be forgotten as those waiting for an end of season collapse start licking their lips. There’s no reason to think that this’ll be the case though. A performance anywhere near as good as the one at Anfield (minus the hara kiri moments at the end) will be enough to get us through.
The match officials are from Croatia. COYS.
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