Date: Friday, August 5th, 2016
Time: 11:00am ET/ 5:00pm CET
Venue: Ullevaal Stadion; Oslo, Norway
After a stressful, unproductive and thoroughly embarrassing fortnight spent on tour in the United States, Inter have returned to Europe to continue their preseason preparations, although they barely had time to touch down at Malpensa airport before they were straight off on their holidays again. After two free days were granted for the players to shake off their jet lag and remind themselves what their loved ones look like, training resumed at Appiano Gentile on Thursday afternoon before the Nerazzurri flew out to Oslo ahead of what will be their seventh friendly match of the summer.
At the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo - home to Tippeligaen side Vålerenga - they will meet Premier League team Tottenham, who have just completed their own grueling preseason tour in Australia and are only eight days away from their opening league match against Everton. It is their last friendly before the serious stuff gets under way (whereas we still have another two to, uh, enjoy after this), so we should expect them to be very fired up and probably in a better physical condition than we are. As well as being, y'know, a better team in general.
Bearing that in mind, I expect us to lose. Again. But here are two reasons to look forward to the game - if indeed you bother to watch it, because many people probably won't. Reason 1 is that this will be the first ever time that two foreign teams have played on Norwegian soil, so no matter how poorly we play we are going to make a small piece of history in the process. Reason 2 is the more important thing though: this match will almost certainly see Ever Banega make his debut in an Inter shirt (unless you count the Primavera friendlies he's been taking part in against other youth teams), be it from the start or after half-time, and that should be exciting. Along with him, we should also have seasonal debuts for Jeison Murillo, Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic, all of whom missed the US tour after arriving late from their summer holidays and hadn't trained with the rest of the first team until Thursday. So that's good too.
Here are the 21 players Roberto Mancini has taken with him to Scandinavia:
Goalkeepers: Handanovic, Carrizo, Berni;
Defenders: Ranocchia, Ansaldi, Erkin, Murillo, Miranda, D'Ambrosio, Nagatomo, Yao
Midfielders: Melo, Kondogbia, Bessa, Banega, Brozovic
Forwards: Palacio, Icardi, Jovetic, Biabiany, Perisic
New signing Antonio Candreva has not traveled for the match, which is presumably because he only had his first training as an Inter player this afternoon. His debut will have to wait until our match with Borussia Monchengladbach on August 10.
Ways to Watch:
TV: CBS Sports Network (USA), ITV4 (UK), Sky Sport 1, Sky Super Calcio & Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), Sport 1 (Israel).