Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup to Face Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday

Inter travel to face Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday with Luciano Spalletti’s side looking to kickstart their domestic campaign, following a slow start in the league which has seen the Nerazzurri lose two of their first four matches.

The Milanese giants’ 2-1 Champions League win over Tottenham in midweek was a much-needed boost for Spalletti’s struggling side, and Inter will be looking to use their European success as a springboard to launch a more positive vein of form in Serie A.

A trip to the high-flying Sampdoria is by no means an easy assignment, however, and Inter will need Mauro Icardi and co. to be on form on Saturday if they are to continue to build on their midweek heroics in the league. A strong attacking side will be required to take on an in-form Sampdoria side.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Samir Handanovic (GK) – An accomplished performance against Tottenham at the San Siro in midweek further displayed why Handanovic remains one of the finest and most consistent goalkeepers in Italian football.

Milan Skriniar (RB) – With Sime Vrsaljko still unavailable, regular centre back Skriniar is likely to be utilised at right back once more, having performed capably in the position against Tottenham in midweek.

Stefan de Vrij (CB) – Having completed a summer move to the San Siro from domestic rivals Lazio during the summer, de Vrij has brought added class and composure to Inter’s defence, but will be hoping to tighten things up after a difficult start to the Serie A season for his side.

Miranda (CB) – An experienced head to lead the defence, Miranda’s defensive expertise from his time with Atletico Madrid makes the Brazilian an ideal candidate to shore things up at the back for Inter.

Kwadwo Asamoah (LB) – Another summer signing from a domestic rival, Asamoah has added an energetic and industrious outlet to the left-hand side of Inter’s defence following his summer arrival from Juventus.

2. Midfielders

Matias Vecino (CDM) – After scoring the dramatic late winner against Tottenham in midweek, Vecino is certain to be in high spirits and good form heading into Saturday’s match.

Marcelo Brozovic (CDM) – The Croatian World Cup finalist brings dynamism and technical stability to the heart of Inter’s engine room, making his side tick from a deep midfield position.

Keita Balde Diao (RM) – On loan from Monaco, Inter’s turnaround against Tottenham in midweek coincided with the added thrust and energy brought to the game by Keita Balde when he was brought on for the final 20 minutes of the game. Able to operate anywhere across the front line, the forward offers greater attacking flexibility and threat from various positions.

Radja Nainggolan (CAM) – The star recruit from Roma during the summer transfer window, Nainggolan was omitted from Belgium’s successful World Cup squad during the summer, but remains one of the finest midfield engines in Europe, with dynamic energy and a ferocious strike capable of changing any game.

Ivan Perisic (LM) – One of the stars of the World Cup, Perisic has continued his fine summer form with Croatia with two goals from Inter’s first four Serie A games of the season, and provides a constant threat with his tireless runs down the left flank and an ability to produce a decisive moment from nothing.

3. Forward

Mauro Icardi (ST) – The star of the show in midweek with a stunning volleyed equaliser against Tottenham, Icardi hit four goals in a 5-0 win for Inter when his side last met Sampdoria, and the Argentine striker is set for another central role in Saturday’s match.


Sampdoria vs Inter Preview: Form, Previous Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & Prediction

Fresh from their Champions League heroics in midweek, Inter travel to Liguria on Saturday to face Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Serie A, looking to take the storming momentum from their European exploits into their league campaign.

Luciano Spalletti’s side produced a stunning late comeback from 1-0 down against Tottenham to win 2-1 in the opening match of their Champions League campaign at the San Siro on Tuesday, but have endured a rather more lukewarm start to their season in Serie A.

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

After two defeats, one win and one draw from their first four domestic matches of the campaign, I Nerazzurri have struggled to capitalise on a summer which saw a number of star signings arrive at the San Siro.

Sampdoria, meanwhile, have enjoyed something closer to the start which Inter would themselves have hoped for, with two wins, a draw and one defeat so far placing them in the top four at this early stage in the season. Hosting Inter on Sunday, though, promises to provide their sternest test of the campaign so far.

Recent Form

Sampdoria began the Serie A season with disappointment in a 1-0 defeat away to Udinese, but kickstarted their campaign impressively with a thumping 3-0 win over last season’s runners-up, Napoli, in what was a shock result for Marco Giampaolo’s side.

I Blucerchiati continued to fire with an emphatic 5-0 triumph over Frosinone the following week, before earning a 1-1 draw at home to Fiorentina.

​Inter’s start to the season has been less impressive in domestic terms, as Spalletti’s side crashed to a 1-0 defeat away to Sassuolo on the opening weekend in Serie A.

A 2-2 draw with Torino provided little more encouragement the following matchday, before Inter finally got off the mark with a 3-0 win away to Bologna.

A 1-0 defeat at home to Parma followed, however, leaving the San Siro giants with much to do in improving their league form; though their 2-1 win over Tottenham in the Champions League in midweek should provide a much-needed boost ahead of Saturday’s match.

Previous Encounter

If Sampdoria are to continue their positive early season form at home on Saturday, they will need to produce a far better performance than the last time the two sides met at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris last season.

Inter hammered their hosts with a 5-0 victory in March, with Mauro Icardi typically at the heart of the Nerazzurri’s success – scoring four for his side to add to Ivan Perisic’s opener in the match.

The Milanese side simply had too much firepower for Sampdoria last time out, and Icardi’s fine strike against Tottenham on Tuesday night will have the hosts fearing more of the same ahead of Saturday’s game.

Key Battle

With the previous meeting between the two sides in mind, and following his heroic exploits in midweek, Mauro Icardi is the clear danger man that Sampdoria must seek to stop on Saturday.

The Argentine striker has yet to register a Serie A goal so far in what has been an all-round frustrating start to the domestic campaign for his side. However, Inter will be hoping that his wonder goal at the San Siro to haul I Nerazzurri back into the match against Tottenham will give their star man lift off for the season.

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

Despite a raft of attacking additions to the side during the summer transfer window, Icardi remains Inter’s most important goal threat, and stopping him will be key to Sampdoria’s potential success on Saturday.

Joachim Andersen has been Sampdoria’s most consistent presence in the centre of defence so far this season – having started all four of his side’s Serie A matches in the current campaign -and will be the man tasked primarily with shackling the spearhead of Inter’s attack.

Icardi’s movement in and around the box can be lethal, and Andersen must ensure he is tracking the Inter captain at all times to limit the Argentine’s chances of breaking into dangerous positions from which he can do maximum damage to Sampdoria’s rear-guard.

Team News

Marco Giampaolo will be without attacking midfielder Riccardo Saponara as Sampdoria prepare to host Inter on Saturday, with the 26-year-old still recovering from a muscular injury. Centre back Vasco Regini also remains sidelined with a long-term cruciate ligament rupture.

Though Mauro Icardi will arrive at Sampdoria as the primary threat for Inter, Luciano Spalletti will be without his other Argentine centre forward, as summer signing Lautaro Martinez misses out on Saturday’s game with a calf problem.


Though Sampdoria have begun their Serie A campaign in stronger form than their Milanese counterparts, Inter have the stronger personnel in every area of the pitch and simply need to win on Saturday after losing two of their first four league games this season.


The dramatic Champions League win in midweek should provide the visitors with the ideal springboard to arrive in Saturday’s game with confidence and a stronger position to secure just their second win of the domestic campaign.

Score prediction: Sampdoria 1-3 Inter Milan


Sampdoria Striker Fabio Quagliarella Reveals Interest From Now-Man Utd Boss in Inter Days

Sampdoria forward Fabio Quagliarella has revealed that he was a target for Jose Mourinho while the Portuguese tactician was coaching at Internazionale.

The 35-year-old, who has never been employed by a non-Italian team, has been quite the journeyman over the years, beginning his career with Torino before playing for the likes of Ascoli, Udinese, Napoli and Juventus, as well as other Italian sides.

Frosinone Calcio v UC Sampdoria - Serie A

With Sampdoria set to face I Nerazurri this Saturday, Quagliarella has revealed that he could have also played at Inter, given Mourinho’s interest in him some years back.

“José Mourinho, when I played in Udinese, after a game asked me to join him at Inter,” he said in an interview with DAZN, via La Gazzetta dello Sport“Over the years I have been close to Inter on two or three occasions, but then the negotiations did not materialise.”

Mourinho spent two years at Inter after leaving Chelsea, taking over at the Serie A side in 2008 and then leaving for Real Madrid in 2010. The current Manchester United boss won two league titles and also led the side to Champions League triumph during his time at the San Siro, but the club has struggled since his departure eight years ago.

Inter Milan's Portuguese  coach Jose Mou

Quagiarella, meanwhile, likely scored the goal of the season when he stunned Napoli with an insane back-heeled flick during a 3-0 Sampdoria win two Sundays ago. He followed that with another strike against Frosinone in a 5-0 win and has so far recorded two goals and two assists in his first four appearances for the Blucerchiati.

“Every game has different episodes and occasions,” he says. “I never think about how I can kick or score. 90 minutes are long, let alone against teams like Inter.” 


4 Things We Learned as Inter Came From Behind to Beat Tottenham 2-1 on Tuesday Evening

Tottenham got their Champions League campaign off to the worst possible start as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Inter at San Siro on Tuesday night.

Christian Eriksen put Maurcio Pochettino’s side ahead early on in the second half with a deflected strike, but the Nerazzurri fought back and pulled level courtesy of a sensational volley from Mauro Icardi, with only a few minutes remaining.

Just when it looked as though the spoils were going to be shared, Matias Vecino popped up in the second minute of added time to give his side the win.

Here are four things we learned from the exhilarating affair.

1. Harry Kane Needs a Rest

Both Harry Kane and his manager Mauricio Pochettino have insisted that the striker is absolutely fine to carry on starting matches for Tottenham, but his recent performances do nothing to support that claim.

He looked off the pace once again in this one and was lacking the sort of sharpness in front of goal that we usually associate with the England striker.

He had a golden chance to score midway through the first half when he was put through one on one with Samir Handanovic, but instead of shooting he found himself dribbling the ball out of play.

He needs to be rested for a game or two, so he can recover mentally as well as physically. 

2. Inter Would Seriously Struggle Without Mauro Icardi

You would be forgiven for forgetting that Mauro Icardi was even on the pitch before the 86th minute.

The Argentine striker was starved of service throughout and, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t seem to fashion himself a clear chance on goal.

He instead decided that he was going to attempt an outrageous long range volley and it ended up flying into the far corner, leaving Michel Vorm with absolutely no chance.

The 25-year-old has scored more than 25 goals in three of the last four seasons for Inter and it is his goals, whether tap-ins or screamers which have dragged Inter back to the top table of European football.

3. Serge Aurier Is a Capable Deputy for Kieran Trippier

Serge Aurier has been criticised for his defensive shortcomings ever since he joined Spurs last summer.

Prior to the match, a number of Tottenham fans were afraid that Ivan Perisic was going to give the Ivorian a tough time, but he ended up being their best performer on the night.

He looked very secure in defence, his decision making was sound and he also offered a decent outlet when Spurs opted to spring Inter on the counter attack.

Trippier will remain the first choice right-back, but Aurier will be pushing him all the way for a starting berth.

4. Spurs Are Now Officially in a Slump

That 3-0 victory over Manchester United now seems like a very long time ago for Tottenham and there is no getting away from the fact that they have gone backwards since that impressive performance.

Sometimes teams can go through bad patches and that can often be attributed to bad luck. On this occasion that simply isn’t the case. Pochettino’s men are making too many rudimentary errors and there is a sense that they are there for the taking at any moment.

Tottenham now face a tricky test when they travel away to face Brighton on Saturday – a win is absolutely crucial.


Spurs Boss Mauricio Pochettino Reveals Tottenham Missed Out on Chance to Sign Inter Attacker

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that it was his intention to bring Internazionale striker Keita Balde to London last year.

The 23-year-old Senegal international left Lazio to join AS Monaco last summer but struggled at the French side and has since joined I Nerazzurri on a €6m loan deal, with an option to buy him outright for €30m next year.

The Premier League side lost their first game of their Champions League campaign ​2-1 to Inter at San Siro on Tuesday night. Speaking prior to the match, Pochettino confirmed Balde was indeed a target for him at Tottenham.

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

“Yes, it’s true. I’ve been following him since he grew up in Barcelona while I was at Espanyol,” he told Sky Sports (via Calciomercato). 

“He is a player with an interesting profile for us, I wanted him but then he chose Monaco. But he remains an excellent striker.”

Balde registered 16 goals and three assists for Lazio in Serie A during the 2016/17 season and his form in front of goal would prompt Monaco to move for him at the end of the term. However, he only played in six league games last season and didn’t score a single goal, only delivering two assists.

He hasn’t opened his account at Inter yet either, having made five appearances for the Italian side, one of those coming in the form of an 18-minute cameo against Spurs. But Pochettino seems to still hold the player in very high regard.

The English side had been hoping to recover from their disappointing loss to Liverpool on the weekend with a victory against Inter this week. However, despite going ahead through Christian Eriksen’s 53rd-minute goal, they allowed Luciano Spalleti’s side back with goals from Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino confirming a late comeback for Inter.


Luciano Spalletti Lauds Mauro Icardi After Stunning Strike Helps Inter Seal Dramatic Late Win

​Inter boss Luciano Spalletti was full of praise for Mauro Icardi after the striker scored a wonder goal during the Nerazzurri’s ​2-1 victory over ​Tottenham on Tuesday evening.

Spalletti’s side found themselves trailing with five minutes left of normal time before Icardi lashed home a long range volley to level the tie. Matias Vecino then went on to snatch all three points away with a late header, meaning that Inter were able to get their Champions League campaign off to the perfect start.

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

Spalletti insisted that none of that would have been possible without Icardi and he urged the rest of his players to take a page out of the Argentinian’s book.

“Icardi is a serious professional and he is not someone who runs away from responsibility,” Spalletti told Sky Sport Italia, as quoted by ​Football Italia. 

“We have many great players though and sometimes we must learn how to win even without Mauro. We can’t have the same eleven in every game.”

Despite picking up all three points, it wasn’t a totally convincing performance from the hosts and Spalletti went on to discuss how pleased he was to witness his side fight back to turn the game around.

“The fact we overturned the result with that final push makes it even more satisfying, 

“We saw how the fans in the stadium celebrated what it meant to them. We were always attacking and always tried to get behind them, so we put in a great performance.


“This result gives us different self-belief around the work we are doing. Getting players like Icardi to break their ducks is fundamental, as we need his goals.”

Inter travel to PSV for their second group game in two weeks time, while opponents Spurs host Barcelona at Wembley.


Inter 2-1 Tottenham: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Icardi Stars in Late Comeback

​Tottenham ​were unable to get back to winning ways as they were defeated 2-1 by ​Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

The away side were moments away from taking home all three points after Christian Eriksen put them ahead midway through the second half, but late goals from Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino mean that Spurs were forced to leave San Siro empty handed.

Both sides started the match tentatively but, despite looking shaky at the back, Tottenham carved out the best chance of the first half. Harry Kane was put through one on one against Samir Handanovic, but the England striker hesitated to shoot and ran the ball out of touch.

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

It didn’t take long for the breakthrough to come in the second half and it came courtesy of Tottenham’s most threatening player, Eriksen. The Dane had a shot saved by Handanovic before his deflected rebound looped over the Inter keeper. 

Despite looking comfortable, the away side were left sunned in the final exchanges when Icardi fired home a stunning volley to draw level on 86 minutes, before Vecino headed home in the second minute of added time to give his side all three points.


Key Talking Point

Inter were far from brilliant throughout the match and they had to rely on a moment of magic from Icardi to give them a fighting chance in this one.


This could be the start of something brilliant for Luciano Spalletti’s side who will now be hoping that they can build some momentum that they can carry into their domestic season. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but sometimes imperfect performances that lead to victories can taste the sweetest.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (6); Skriniar (6), De Vrij (6), Miranda (6), Asamoah (6); Vecino (6), Brozovic (7), Politano (5), Nainggolan (6), Perisic (5); Icardi (7*).

Substitutes: Candreva (5), Balde (6), Valero (N/A).

Star Man – He worked tirelessly throughout the match to offer an option for his teammates, but it took until the final moments for Icardi to truly show his class.

That goal will go down as one of the best of the season and the fact he was able to pull off a goal like that at that time in the match proves just how important he is to Inter.


​​Worst Player – Inter’s final ball often left something to be desired and one of the chief culprits was Matteo Politano.

The winger regularly got the better of Ben Davies, but he was unable to find Icardi on a number of occasions and instead chose to take on speculative long range strikes which failed to find the target.



Key Talking Point

The result was always going to be the most important outcome from tonight’s match and the fact that Spurs managed to let what looked like a comfortable lead slip will be incredibly hard to take for Mauricio Pochettino.

FC Internazionale v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

If the match ended five minutes earlier then the tension surrounding the club would have surely been lifted. Now, as it stands, things are going to start getting even more difficult for the north London outfit and the pressure will continue to mount.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Vorm (6), Aurier (8*), Sanchez (6), Vertonghen (5), Davies (3); Dier (5), Dembele (6), Eriksen (7); Lamela (5), Son (5), Kane (5).

Substitutes: Moura (7), Winks (N/A), Rose (N/A).

Star Man – Serge Aurier has faced criticism for his slack defensive performances and poor decision making in the past, but he was outstanding for Spurs on this occasion. 

He was switched on at all times to deal with Ivan Perisic and he offered a consistent out ball whenever Spurs mounted a quick counter attack. 

Keiran Trippier will still be first choice for Spurs, but Aurier will be pushing him all the way for a starting spot going forward.



​​Worst Player – Aurier played brilliantly on the right flank, but the same cannot be said for Ben Davies on the left.

The Welsh full-back looked nervous with the ball at his feet throughout the match and he was caught out for Icardi’s equaliser, leaving the striker with far too much space to volley home. It was an evening to forget.

Looking Ahead

Inter will now focus their immediate attention on the league as they travel to Sampdoria on Saturday. Their next Champions League tie is also in a fortnight’s time as they play host to PSV.

Tottenham are also set to return to domestic action with a trip to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton on Saturday. Their next Champions League fixture comes in the shape of a home tie against group favourites Barcelona in a fortnight


8 Danger Men the Premier League’s 4 Clubs Need to Watch Out for in the Champions League This Week

The 2018/19 Champions League season kicks off this week, with four Premier League clubs – Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United and Manchester City all involved in the group stage. 

It’s easy to say that Liverpool must watch out for deadly Paris Saint-Germain trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, or that Spurs must be wary of Inter’s Mauro Icardi, or City to take great care not to underestimate Nabil Fekir.

But what of other less talked about danger men the English sides need to keep an eye on: 

8. Adrien Rabiot (PSG)

Out of contract with PSG at the end of the season and still to reach an agreement over an extension, Adrien Rabiot is effectively playing to put himself in the shop window this season and will get plenty of opportunities to impress in a tough group.

The French midfielder, who missed out on World Cup selection during the summer, is reportedly a target for Barcelona, Juventus, Tottenham and former club Manchester City. Liverpool have also been heavily linked and will get an up close look at him this week.  

7. Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys)

Right-sided winger Christian Fassnacht only joined Young Boys last summer and immediately helped the team win a first Swiss Super League title since 1986 with a combined 19 goals and assists in 34 league outings for the club.

His return so far in 2018/19 is even more impressive after scoring four times and assisting once as Young Boys have started the new domestic season with a 100 winning record. Whoever starts at left-back for Manchester United cannot ignore the threat he brings.  

6. Milan Skriniar (Inter)

Inter and Slovakia defender Milan Skriniar is touted as one of the next top European centre-backs and is tasked with keeping Harry Kane and Tottenham at bay in a tantalising Group B clash on Tuesday, Inter’s first Champions League game since 2012.

Skriniar was plucked from obscurity by Sampdoria in 2016 and joined Inter only 18 months later for €20m, while there are now estimations that he could be worth in excess of €50m in today’s market, such has been the 23-year-old’s meteoric rise.  

5. Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon)

During their Ligue 1 dominance in the 2000s, Lyon went through a period of finding hidden gems and developing them into top class midfielders, including the likes of Michael Essien and Mahamadou Diarra. Summer signing Tanguy Ndombele could be the next one.

The 21-year-old arrived from Amiens in 2017 – initially on loan – and played in all but two Ligue 1 games last season. So far in 2018/19, Ndombele has barely missed a minute and will be hoping to help cause an upset as Lyon visit Manchester City.  

4. Matteo Politano (Inter)

Italian winger Matteo Politano is enjoying a solid start to his Inter career after arriving on loan from Sassuolo during the summer. And, after two assists in Serie A so far this season, it will be his job to provide ammunition for striker Mauro Icardi.

25-year-old Politano, whose loan deal includes a €20m purchase option, actually started out at Roma. But it wasn’t until he joined Pescara in Serie B and later Sassuolo in the top flight that he was able to make good on his potential.  

3. Guillaume Hoarau (Young Boys)

Veteran French striker Guillaume Hoarau is the chief goal threat for Swiss champions Young Boys, who take on Manchester United in Group H on Wednesday night, finishing last season as Swiss Super League top scorer as the Bern club ended Basel’s years of dominance. 

Hoarau has retained his form, already finding the net four times in six domestic games so far and scoring a tie-winning away leg brace against perennial qualifiers Dinamo Zagreb to get Young Boys to this stage of the competition.  

2. Memphis Depay (Lyon)

Memphis Depay has everything to prove after his ultimately disappointing stint at Manchester United, with facing Manchester City in the Champions League after just over 18 very productive months at Lyon the perfect opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.

Memphis was initially left on the bench for Lyon’s weekend clash against Caen, later emerging to provide a last ditch assist in the 2-2 draw. Having played just 20 minutes of that game, he should be fresh for the trip to Manchester.  

1. Angel Di Maria (PSG)

With Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani taking the majority of the headlines generated by PSG, the incredibly dangerous Angel Di Maria is inexplicably almost forgotten and will pose enormous danger to Liverpool at Anfield.

The ex-Manchester United winger had the most prolific season of his career in 2017/18 and has managed a goal or assist in every Ligue 1 games he’s played this campaign. That was after scoring a brace against Monaco in France’s equivalent to a Super Cup.  


Picking the Best Potential Inter Lineup to Face Tottenham in the Champions League on Tuesday

Inter return to the Champions League for the first time since 2012, when they were knocked out by Marseille. Luciano Spalletti’s men secured Champions League football in a dramatic encounter with Lazio which saw I Nerazzurri run out 3-2 winners.

On Tuesday evening they play host to a Tottenham side that comfortably swept aside both Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in last season’s group stages. With neither side in excellent form domestically, both managers will be eager to gain maximum points in their first game of the Champions League calendar.

Here is how Spalletti is likely to line-up his side: 

1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Samir Handanovic (GK) – The experienced shot-stopper remains the undisputed No.1 for his side as he moves into the latter stages of his career.

Danilo D’Ambrosio (RB) – With summer arrival Sime Vrsaljko sidelined with a knee injury, the versatile Italian is a more than capable deputy.

Milan Skriniar (CB) – The 23-year-old Slovakian has become a mainstay in the Inter rearguard since his arrival from Sampdoria in July 2017.

Stefan de Vrij (CB) – Since arriving this summer, de Vrij has started all four of his sides games in Serie A, and has shown signs of developing a partnership with Skriniar.

Kwadwo Asamoah (LB) – The vastly experienced Ghanaian will add steel and know-how to a side with little experience at the top-level. 

2. Midfielders

Roberto Gagliardini (CDM) –  Playing in one of the two holding roles in Spalletti’s system, the former Atalanta man provides stability in midfield.

Marcelo Brozovic (CDM) – With more license to get forward than his fellow defensive midfielder, the Croatian had a hand in 13 goals last season and will look to show his class on the European stage.

Antonio Candreva (RM) – Despite failing to score last season, the experienced wide-man racked up eight assists and has started the 2018/19 campaign brightly.

Radja Nainggolan (CAM) – The summer acquisition from AS Roma has already scored his first goal for his new side, and has plenty of Champions League experience.

Ivan Perisic (LM) – Capable of the sensational and always providing an outlet for his side, the Croatian’s ability to carry the ball on the break makes him a potent threat on the counter attack. 

3. Forwards

Mauro Icardi (ST) – With an incredible goalscoring record, the Argentine is likely to get the nod over summer arrival Keita Baldé from Monaco. 

The Senegalese international has shown glimpses of his talent when given opportunities by Spalletti, and will provide good competition for Icardi as the season progresses. 


Picking a Combined XI of Inter & Tottenham Players Ahead of Tuesday Evening’s European Clash

Inter take on Tottenham Hotspur in the first round of this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage games. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were knocked out last season by an experienced Juventus team, and will want to avoid suffering another defeat to Italian opposition on Tuesday.

Inter will be under pressure too, making their first appearance in the Champions League since 2012. The club will be eager to make a statement of intent on football’s biggest stage. 

With both sides in indifferent form in the build-up to the game, a win could provide both squads with a much needed confidence boost with fixtures coming thick and fast.

Ahead of the heavily anticipated fixture on Tuesday evening, here is a combined XI selected from the two squads.

1. Samir Handanovic

With Hugo Lloris unavailable, the choice between Michel Vorm and Samir Handanovic was an easy one.

The 34-year-old has been an ever-present between the sticks for Inter since signing in 2012 from Udinese. Keeping 16 clean sheets last term, the imposing Slovenian made a number of highlight reel saves throughout last season and was crucial to his side’s Champions League qualification.

2. Toby Alderweireld

Having settled his dispute with manager Mauricio Pochettino, the ball-playing defender is back in the Spurs side. Capable of playing in a back three and in a partnership, the Belgian’s adaptability has seen him shine in a number of systems under Pochettino.

When given consistent game-time, the former Ajax man has shown he is one of the best defenders in Europe and has built a formidable understanding with fellow centre backs Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez.

3. Milan Skriniar

The 23-year-old defender has emerged as one of the brightest prospects in Europe, possessing defensive understanding and positional awareness that belies his years.

The Slovakian international is equally comfortable in possession of the ball, a quality which sees him selected over Davinson Sanchez here.

4. Jan Vertonghen

Now entering the latter stages of his career, the Belgian’s reputation as one of the Premier League’s best defenders is undisputed. Blessed with deceptive pace and ever-increasing experience at the top level, Vertonghen is a formidable force at the back for Spurs.

With Alderweireld absent for much of last season, Vertonghen stepped up and became a reliable partner for youngster Davinson Sanchez, helping Spurs keep 15 clean sheets.

5. Kieran Trippier

Playing on the right of a midfield four Trippier gets the nod due to his excellent delivery from wide positions. The England full-back provided nine assists last season, and displayed a burgeoning talent from set-pieces in the World Cup. 

The 27-year-old has made the right-back position his own having fended off competition from Ivorian Serge Aurier. There are currently very few players that provide such a source of creativity from full-back.

6. Mousa Dembélé

While the Belgian midfielder’s contribution may not always be visible in statistics, his class is undoubted. 

Capable of gliding away from his opponents due to seamless acceleration and excellent ball control, the 31-year-old provides a unique balance between defence and attack.

7. Radja Nainggolan

Known for his aggressive and combative style of play, the midfielder has been deployed further forward since making his move to the San Siro.

The all-rounder scored six goals and created 11 last season, while playing predominantly in front of the defence for AS Roma. This season, with more license to get forward, fans can expect an even more impressive return.

8. Ben Davies

In the absence of Danny Rose for the majority of last season for various reasons, Davies developed into one of the best left-backs in the league. 

Equally adept at going forward as well as defending, the Welshman created six goals for his side last year. This season he has found himself competing with Danny Rose again, however, Pochettino’s preference to select Davies when fielding a back three suggests he feels Davies provides a better attacking option.

9. Christian Eriksen

The Dane has become one of the most established playmakers in Europe with a reputation for his excellent vision, passing ability and free kicks. 

The Ajax academy graduate possesses the ability to unlock any defence, and showed that he is capable of producing against the very best last season with superb performances against Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League.

10. Ivan Perisic

It was a tough call between the Croatian and Tottenham forward Son Heung-min, but the former Dortmund winger just edges it.

Possessing power, pace, trickery and a good shot, the 29-year-old has seen his stock rise due to impressive performances on the international stage. With two goals already this term, the wide-man has seemingly continued his form from last season.

11. Harry Kane

Even with a goalscoring record such as Mauro Icardi’s, there really was no contest here. Harry Kane has demonstrated consistently that he is one of the best centre-forwards in world football. 

Able to lead the line on his own, Kane is capable of scoring all types of goals. Despite a slow start to this campaign, the goals will undoubtedly start flowing once again.