clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Inter vs. Wolfsburg: Preview, lineups, and live match thread

New, comments

After a disappointing 3-1 loss in the away leg of the Europa League round of 16, the Nerazzurri will face Wolfsburg in Milan looking to avenge their reputation in European competition.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

In or out. Nothing more.

Personally, I don't care much if Inter will get to next round. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see this team keep on running to reach the final trophy. But that's secondary. What matters most, for me, is seeing this squad give all they have in order to prove themselves and to impress their supporters. We want to cheer for players that play with heart and a desire to win, and this is the last call for them to show us just that.

VfL Wolfsburg are one of the favorites to win this season's Europa League, so being eliminated by them wouldn't be a big humiliation. But winning this match and advancing to the next round against the best team of the tournament? That would be a great joy and a confidence booster for the whole club and its supporters.

Ranocchia tweeted on Monday "Fight for a dream, for us and our fans. Fight and rejoice all together, we need an Inter night", attaching a photo of him holding the sticker of the late Giacinto Facchetti, a true Inter Milan legend and former captain.

This is no "Mission Impossible" and Mancini knows that. Last Thursday we didn't play a great game, and we suffered from the physicality of Wolfsburg's two central midfielders Luiz Gustavo and Guilavogui. As a side, Inter left too much space for Caligiuri and Vierinha to run on the wings, but they weren't flawless either. We could have easily (yeah, Palacio, that was easy) scored another goal before their second, and we failed to take advantage of the many mistakes they committed in their defensive half. And if it wasn't for a woeful performance by Carrizo, the match probably would have ended with a more positive result for Inter.

Bad news: Carrizo will almost surely play again today. Mancio is giving him another chance, stating that he deserves to play in the Europa League, since he is the "cup keeper". I do not agree with this decision. We have Handanovic, who is a superstar-level player and who has saved us multiple times this season. He is undeniably our best option between the posts. So starting Carrizo, who is way less talented than the Slovenian, means that we are not playing with the best players available a match that means so much not only for this season, but for the next one too. Especially given the fact that advancing in this competition is the only dream Inter have of reaching the top European competition next season.

The good news, however, is that Shaqiri will take part of today's match. He probably won't start, but he told Mancini that he doesn't feel pain at the moment so he will be on the bench for us - ready to take off his tracksuit and bring his usual energy and top-class dribbling skills to the team.

Campagnaro will probably have his role back as right-back in place of a tired D'Ambrosio and Kovacic will have the hard task of replacing the aforementioned Shaqiri behind the strikers in hopes that this will be the redemption match for him in a season of too many downs and too few ups.

Since the away leg finished 3-1 in favor of the opponents, the easiest result to achieve is a final score line of 2-0. Unfortunately, keeping a clean sheet will be very difficult against such a good attacking team. But on the other hand, I don't see why Inter shouldn't be able to score at least 2 goals. Keep in mind that Naldo, Wolfsburg's best defender, won't take part in this match due to the yellow card he picked up in last Thursday's match.

We believe in our guys, we believe in this team.

Projected Starting XIs

Inter

Carrizo

Campagnaro - Ranocchia - Juan Jesus - Santon

Guarin - Medel - Hernanes

Kovacic

Icardi - Palacio

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Bas Dost

Caligiuri - De Bruyne - Vieirinha

Guilavogui - Luiz Gustavo

Rodriguez - Klose - Knoche - Trasch

Benaglio

VfL Wolfsburg

Official Lineups

Please comment on the match below!