Date: Thursday February 19, 2015
Time: 3:05pm ET / 21:05 CET
Venue: Celtic Park; Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
This is only the 3rd time the two sides face each other in official games with two ties and one defeat for the Italian side in the European Cup final in 1967, in Lisbon.
Inter come into this match with good spirits, after winning their last two Serie A matches with a combined 7 goal scored and with the hope that all the bad things of the previous months will be only a memory, but it's vital for the team not to play with arrogance and with the idea of being superior, because it could be a fatal mistake. I Nerazzurri need to have the right mindset that characterized their recent performances and that allowed them to play the type of football Mancini wanted and that led them to two wins in a row: a mix of hunger and desire to show what they are capable of.
Icardi will be of the game, healthy, and he will replace Podolski (not included in the Euro League list), Kovacic will replace his compatriot Brozovic (not included in the list) and Dodò will play left-back in place of Campagnaro so Mancini will move Santon, who played a great game against Atalanta to the other side, but the formation will be the same: with 4 defenders, Medel as defensive midfielder, the Guarin-Kovacic duo in front of him and Shaqiri behind the two strikers Rodrigo and Maurito.
Icardi and Santon shared their thoughts before this important match, the first said that:
Their supporters don't scare me. I'm confident because Inter want to create the best conditions possiblefor themselves for the home game.
The Italian was more prudent:
It's an important match for us and our season, we will try to win it and to get to the end of the competition. It will be an important match against a great team.
UEFA.com asked Chris Sutton - former Celtic player who played the 2003 European final, losing it against Mourinho's Porto - his thoughts on the game and he said that Celtic should play with calm, because the Scottish team tends to play with a high pressing against more talented squads, with the result of losing balance and let the opposition score. About Inter he said he is sure they will take the competition seriously because of the poor results they had in the Serie A and Coppa Italia.
Inter Milan led Europa League Group F with 12 points, scoring 6 goals while conceding only 2, but Celtic struggled more than them, qualifying for the second round with only 8 points and conceding 11 goals, so now that our team look like to have finally found the much needed balance on the field it will be crucial to take advantage of their defensive defects from the very beginning and the return of Icardi from his one-game absence will help the team in this, even if the team behaved well without him.
Projected Starting XIs:
Matthews - Van Dijk - Ambrose - Izaguirre
Forrest - Johansen - Brown - Mackay-Steven
Stokes - Guidetti
Kovacic - Guarin
Dodò - Ranocchia - Juan Jesus -Santon