Inter Milan face an uphill task to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Europa League as they attempt to overturn a 3-0 first leg deficit against Andre Villas-Boas’s Tottenham.
Despite their first-leg performance, The Nerazzurri can take heart from the last time Tottenham came calling at the San Siro. Inter found themselves 4-0 up within the first 35 minutes of a Champions League clash and a similar start would more than revive their qualification hopes.
That game also famously witnessed the explosive introduction of Welshman Gareth Bale onto the footballing scene. After a tough start to his White Hart Lane career, the winger grabbed an outstanding second-half hat-trick which saw Spurs fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback.
Since that day, Bale has grown in stature and is now compared amongst the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. However he won't be involved tonight as he serves a suspension for a booking in the first leg.
Inter’s squad is a shadow of the side who famously lifted the Champions League in 2010, household names departing for pastures new.
Andrea Stramaccioni’s side will be boosted by the fact that they have scored 16 goals in the competition since the group stages began.
Both sides go into the game on the back of domestic defeats at the weekend. Inter suffered a 1-0 defeat to Bologna whilst Villas-Boas’ Spurs tasted defeat for the first time in three months, sliding to a narrow 3-2 defeat at Liverpool.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 6pm
PAST THREE MEETING...
Tottenham 3 (Bale, Sigurdsson, Vertonghen) Inter Milan 0, Europa League, March 2013
Tottenham 3 (van der Vaart, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko) Inter Milan 1 (Eto’o), Champions League, November 2010
Inter Milan 4 ( Zanetti, Eto’o 2, Stankovic) Tottenham 3 (Bale 3), Champions League, October 2010
Tottenham have not conceded in their last four games against Italian opposition. A 3-0 victory in the first-leg adding to three previous 0-0 draws.
The English side have also avoided defeat in their past five away games in the competition.
Andre Villas-Boas’ will be looking to secure the trophy for the third time in Tottenham’s history, making them only the fourth side to achieve the feat.
Prior to this season, Inter had not made an appearance in this competition for nine years, mainly due successful attendance in the later stages of the Champions League.
Inter and Spurs are two of only three previous winners of the competition left in the competition.
Inter Milan to win: 2.4
Tottenham to win: 3.2
Inter Milan: 17.5
TV: Live on ITV4 at 6pm, highlights on ITV4 on Friday at 6pm