Inter Milan will host Tottenham Hotspur in their opening match of the UEFA Champions League 2018-19 campaign at the San Siro on Tuesday.
The Nerazzurri are back in European football’s biggest competition after a 6-year absence and they will look to make a mark at the biggest stage and repeat the heroics of 2009-10 season when they won the treble under Jose Mourinho.
Inter are placed in Group B alongside La Liga champions FC Barcelona, Premier League giants Tottenham and Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven.
Luciano Spalletti would want his players to show their strength infront of 70000 Inter fans, after their slow start in the league, where they could only manage one win in 4 matches.
Here’s what Inter manager said on the eve of the big match against Tottenham –
# Champions League – a Special Competition –
Matches such as the Tottenham one mean a lot and they can give us a lot in terms of enthusiasm and belief. I’ve had the fortune of taking part in the Champions League on multiple occasions. It’s a competition that delivers extraordinary emotions that you can’t do without after.
# Tottenham not the favourites –
We’ve seen Tottenham’s last games. They’re a very strong team, as are Inter. To me, Harry Kane seems to be in excellent shape and he’s a very important player for how they play. He’s very good at laying the ball off and always picking out his teammates in the right way.
Are they the favourites? I think that my players have enough will and determination to be in this competition that we spent an entire season fighting for, we cannot feel any pressure or be intimidated by the English players’ greater experience. Rather, I believe that this match is the chance to kick into gear.
# We want to learn from our mistakes –
We analyse what we do out on the pitch and we know what we have to do. I’m also aware that I am the person most responsible for the disappointing results from the start of the season. At the same time, one can’t say that we were confused during our last match: up until the 70th minute we controlled the game. We dropped off a bit towards the end and lost our shape after we conceded.
We lacked killer-instinct in front of goal but we were well-structured for most of the game. We’re all aware that we must show something more than what we’ve done so far.