Inter Milan start the quest for its fourth Europa League title in club history when it travels to Vienna to take on Rapid Wien in the first of two legs in the round of 32 Thursday.
The two clubs have faced each other just one other time – defeating them 3-2 on aggregate in the third round of the 1983-84 competition.
Inter Milan team news
The big news is that striker Mauro Icardi will not play in this match. You can see our story on that here. Icardi has been stripped of his captaincy and asked not to travel with the team to Vienna.
Inter has had its fair share of struggles in 2019, only picking up its first win of the year this past weekend at Parma.
The Nerazzurri have struggled to find the goal, scoring just one goal in its four domestic matches in 2019.
Not only will Inter have to get over elimination from the Champions League, but also its quarter-final exit from the Coppa Italia after a shootout loss at the Giuseppe Meazza to Lazio.
Inter Milan has made one change to its European squad, adding Southampton loanee Cedric Soares into the lineup for the injured Sime Vrsaljko who suffered a season-ending knee injury in January.
With midfielder Radja Nainggolan finding his form after a brief absence, it will still be interesting to see who Luciano Spalletti will have in attack for the Nerazzurri. Lautaro Martinez scored the game winner against Parma over the weekend as Mauro Icardi has yet to find the back of the net this year.
As Joao Mario will not be in the lineup and Milan Skrinar and Marcelo Brozovic are suspended, Matias Vecino could be joined in the midfield by Nainggolan and Borja Valero with Matteo Politano playing the opposite wing with Ivan Perisic.
Projected lineup: Handanovic; Cedric, de Vrij, Miranda, Asamoah; Vecino, Valero, Nainggolan; Politano, Perisic; Martinez.
Rapid Wien team news
After finishing in a Europa League spot out of the Austrian Bundesliga last season, Rapid Wien has struggled greatly this season, domestically.
They have won just five of their 18 domestic matches this season and Thursday’s game will be their first of 2019 after a long winter break.
Of course, Rapid Wien didn’t light any fires in the Europa League either, scoring the second-fewest goals (9) behind Slava Prague in its six matches of group play. They advanced to the round of 32 by way of a 1-0 win over Glasgow Rangers on the last day of group play.
On the injury front, Rapid Wien will be without midfielder Dejan Ljubicic, who drew a red card in their last competitive match in December. It was Ljubicic who scored the game winner against Rangers. The club will also not have Tamas Szanto who has been out all season after sustaining damage to cartilage last season.
Midfielder Thomas Murg leads Rapid Wien in scoring with three goals domestically this season. Forward and Austrian international Deni Alar also has three goals, but in just 16 matches domestically. He has one goal in the Europa League this season. Defender Marlo Sonnieitner has added three goals for Rapid Wien in 13 matches.
In the Austrian Bundesliga, Rapid Wien has scored just 17 goals while giving up 25 in 18 matches.
Projected lineup: Strebinger; Muldur, Dibon, Barac, Potzmann; Schwab, Martic; Murg, Knasmullner, Schobesberger; Alar
Time and Date: 12:55 p.m. EST (5:55 p.m. local) Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019
Location: Allianz Stadion (Vienna)
How to watch: In the United States, the match will be shown on Galavision and Bleacher Report Live. If you are watching in the United Kingdom, the match will be streamed on BT Sport Extra. In Italy, you can watch the match on Sky Calcio 2, Sky Go Italia and Sky Sport Uno.
Click here to see how you can watch the match from anywhere in the world.
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Other Europa League matches
Olympiacos vs. Dynamo Kyiv
Lazio vs. Sevilla
Slavia Praha vs. Genk
Galatasaray vs. Benfica
Rennes vs. Real Betis
BATE vs. Arsenal
FC Kransnodar vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Victoria Plzen vs. Dinamo Zagreb
Club Brugge vs. Red Bull Salzburg
Celtic vs. Valencia
Malmo vs. Chelsea
FC Zurich vs. Napoli
Shakhtar Donestk vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Sporting CP vs. Villareal
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