The International Champions Cup is back. This annual preseason tournament sees Inter in the United States this year and they begin their participation by taking on French champions Paris St-Germain.
Date: Sunday, July 24th, 2016
Time: 5:00 ET/11:00 CET
Venue: Autzen Stadium; Eugene, Oregon
Last summer Inter was in China for the ICC and they suffered losses in both matches, a 1-0 defeat against AC Milan and a 3-0 dismantling at the hands of Real Madrid. The Nerazzurri will be eager to put on a much better showing this time around and Roberto Mancini has already talked about how he plans to take this tournament seriously and he expects his players to do the same.
PSG comes into this match after a 2-1 victory in a friendly against West Bromwich Albion. New manager Unai Emery will still be trying to figure out his team in his second match in charge of the Ligue 1 champions, and will be missing a couple of players including Marquinhos (Olympics), Blaise Matuidi (Euro 2016 recovery), and Jean-Kevin Augustin (U-19 Euros). Like Roberto Mancini, Emery is likely not satisfied with his current team and will be looking to make a couple of signings before the Ligue 1 season begins. This means that a number of his players will be fighting for their starting positions tomorrow and will be expected to convince their new manager that they are worth keeping.
Not much has changed for Inter since their 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake. Mancini is reportedly still unhappy with the club over the transfer policy (though he is supposed to be meeting with Thohir today, Ausilio on Monday, and the new Suning owners in New York on Wednesday). The team that Mancini will choose from tomorrow only sees one addition; Davide Santon flew out to the States to join his teammates after his failed transfer to Napoli and should be available for selection. Assane Gnoukouri might not be totally match fit for Sunday, he had to come off early in the RSL friendly and reportedly might be struggling a little bit from fatigue.
Mancini and the players who have given interviews since their arrival in the United States have all spoken on how good this tournament can be both for exposure to top teams and to show off to potential new fans. With all that has been said the fans can have some expectations that the players will go out there and try to win these games and not just go through the motions. I am still a little nervous about the squad lacking any real midfield playmakers (outside of Daniel Bessa who seriously struggled in the RSL game), but at the end of the day Mancini has to make do with the players that he has for now.
How to Watch:
TV: PremiumSport 2 (Italy), ESPN (USA), ESPN Deportes (USA), WatchESPN (USA)
P.S. For all Interisti in the United States, consider becoming a member of Inter Club USA. It comes with a number of exclusive activities and benefits both during Inter's summer tour and in case you make a trip to the San Siro this upcoming 16/17 season. There are a couple of Meet & Greet events for you to meet your favorite players, so if you plan on going to either the Inter vs. Estudiantes or Inter vs. Bayern Munich match (I'll be at the later) definitely consider becoming a member!