But, here we are with Inter Milan just a result away from clinching a spot in the knockout round of the Champions League. All they need to do is beat Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.
Not an easy task, but doable.
And history … for whatever it’s worth … is on Inter’s side as the Nerazzurri have only failed to qualify for the knockout round once in 11 tournaments.
Inter Milan news
The Nerazzurri are riding a bit of a high after blitzing Frosinone, 3-0 over the weekend. And it all happened without Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi in the lineup — okay, I know he came in late, but Icardi wasn’t a factor and didn’t need to be.
Everyone appears healthy for Inter, with the exception of defender Sime Vrsaljko who was injured during the international break while playing for Croatia.
The last time to two teams matched up, it took late … and I do mean late … goals from Icardi and Matias Vecino to push Inter to a 2-1 win at the Giuseppe Meazza. Now, Inter have a chance to punch their ticket to the knockout stages with a win at Wembley. A draw would keep the Nerazzurri in the driver’s seat as they would still hold a 3-point advantage over Tottenham with the Spurs still having to travel to Barcelona.
”Inter had been waiting for many years to play in this kind of match,” said Inter manager Luciano Spalletti, according to the club’s website. “Our fans need to see that we’re ready to give everything to get the result. There’s a real chance to qualify, but we’ll have to go down to every last drop of sweat. We’ll approach the game head-on.”
| #Spalletti: "From when the draw was made, we knew that we'd have to knock out one of the biggest European teams to make the next round. Tottenham are a strong team with a great manager but we have the quality to take anyone on." #TottenhamInter #UCL #FCIM pic.twitter.com/CNXFoXDM2p— Inter (@Inter_en) November 27, 2018
Needless to say, the challenge is there as Inter hope to move on to the next stage of the Champions League.
Projected lineup: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Miranda, D’Ambrosio; Vecino, Brozovic, Nainggolan; Perisic, Politano, Icardi.
Tottenham Hotspur news
It is pretty much do or die time for the Lillywhites as a loss will end their Champions League campaign. If Spurs tie with Inter, their fate is not necessarily in their hands either as Inter will still hold a three-point lead with Tottenham still having to travel to Camp Nou and face Barcelona.
Tottenham can gain some control over their fate if they beat the Nerazzurri by better than a 1-goal margin.
So, basically a win keeps Tottenham on life support, but a tie or loss and it is likely over.
A crucial lineup error by Spurs will keep defender Juan Foyth on the bench as he was not included in the Champions League lineup.
”It’s a mistake we made, that at this level of football we cannot repeat,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said, according to the BBC.
Additionally, Danny Rose is back to training, but not likely to play. Kieran Trippier, Sanchez, Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama are all out of the match due to injuries.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris returns to the lineup after having to sit following a red card against PSV Eindhoven.
If history has any say, Tottenham have a good chance of getting a result against Inter as Spurs have won both of their previous home matches against Inter — 3-1 in 2010-11 Champions League and 3-0 in the 2012-13 Europa League. But, this will be the Nerazzurri’s first match ever at Wembley Stadium.
Oh, Inter have never been able to keep Tottenham off the scoreboard in any of their five matches … so take that for what you will.
Projected lineup: Lloris; Aurier, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Davies; Sissoko, Alli; Eriksen, Lamela, Kane.
How to watch
Time and Date: 3 p.m. (EST), Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
Where: Wembley Stadium (London)
TV/Streaming: In the United States, the match will be livestreamed on Bleacher Report Live. In the United Kingdom, you can watch the match on BT Sport Live and BT Sport 4K UHD. If you are in Italy, the match can be seen on Sky Calcio 2 and Sky Go Italia.
Click here to see viewing options around the world.
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