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Europa League Preview: Inter vs. Stjarnan

The Nerazzurri take a commanding 3-0 advantage into the second leg…

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Inter has all but assured itself a place in the Europa League group stages following a 3-0 triumph in Iceland last Wednesday.

Mauro Icardi picked up where he left off last year by scoring the opener in the 41st minute before Dodo and Danilo D'Ambrosio chipped in with a goal apiece in the second half to effectively put the tie to bed.

It wasn't a vintage performance by any means, but it was a professional display that enables Walter Mazzarri to rest a few starters.

"Obviously you need to rotate the squad when you play every three days," he said, according to Inter's official website.

"I've still got three question marks over tomorrow's side that I'll figure out during today's training match. It's a case of assessing whether certain players will be fit again for Torino, based on people's varying pre-seasons."

So, the main order of business will be to keep a clean sheet while making sure no one picks up an injury before the Serie A opener on Sunday.

I don't see the Beneamata running into too many problems against the Icelandic club in what is likely too be nothing more than a glorified runout at San Siro.


Date: Thursday, August 28

Time: 2:45 EST

Venue: Giuseppe Meazza


Inter Probable Starting Formation: 3-5-2: Carrizo; Rannochia, Andreolli, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, M'Vila, Kovacic, Kuzmanovic, Nagatomo; Osvaldo, Icardi

Stjarnan Probable Starting Formation: 4-3-3: Jonsson, Vemmelund, Laxdal, Arnason, Rauschenberg; Praest, A. Johannsson, Punyed; Bjorgvinsson, Finsen, Toft

Unavailable For Duty: Rodrigo Palacio and Dodo are nursing minor knocks and will miss the festivities.

Operation Dorse the Norse: The objective is to toy with the overmatched enemy while shining the spotlight directly on Zdravko Kuzmanovic in the hope that one of his two Premier League suckers suitors takes the bait.

Enemy Of The State: Olafur Karl Finsen wasn't able to add to his team-leading five goals in the competition, but gets one more chance to impress on the big stage.

Fear Factor: 1: Stjarnan is as frightening as having a Scandinavian summer sing-along with Bjork, Of Monsters and Men, Sigur Ros and friends on a balmy Thursday evening.

Medal Of Honour: Icardi opened the scoring in the first leg and should add to his tally on home soil. Here's hoping he's safe and sound on the bench before the 60th minute.

Likely Outcome: Inter should add a couple of more goals to the aggregate scoreline in the first half before taking its foot off the gas pedal in the final 45 minutes. Another comfortable win for the good guys.