Inter vs Liverpool
| Wednesday, February 16th |
Premier League | Guiseppe Meazza
8PM BST / 3PM EST
After a two-month break in action, the Champions League returns this week, and after dealing with AC Milan in the group stage, Liverpool will return to the Italian fashion capitol to take on Internazionale.
Due to financial troubles, the reigning Serie A champions saw a player and manager exodus in the summer, but have bounced back admirably, and currently sit second in the league, a single point behind their local rivals, possessing the best attack and the second best defensive record in the division.
The nerazzurri will have to play both legs without star midfielder Nicolo Barella, but possess a clean bill of health otherwise, which means Edin Džeko and Lautaro Martínez will be backed up by the likes of Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal. Although the Italians are considered underdogs in this matchup, they will no doubt be looking to cause an upset.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Diaz, Jota, Salah
The Reds aren’t doing too badly on the injury front either, and Jürgen Klopp can take his pick of central defenders, with Ibrahima Konaté’s physicality plausibly being preferred over Joël Matip next to Virgil van Dijk. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are certain to feature, however.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson has reportedly recovered from a knock to the knee suffered against Burnley at the weekend, but depending on which entry to the match the manager chooses, might not be in the XI anyway. The partnership of Thiago and Fabinho remains undefeated in 17 starts together — with 16 wins — and should be the pick, while the stage is set for a Champions League debut for Harvey Elliott.
Up top, there’s an abundance of options, and with Roberto Firmino continuing to look a step below his best and Sadio Mané having just recently returned from his AfCoN success, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a front three of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “A top-class team with a top-class manager. Probably the best team again in Italy this season. Very good organisation, very well drilled, creativity on the pitch and good individuals. We need to give a top-class performance to even have a chance.”
Simone Inzaghi: “They have great players in every position, a great manager, a great squad. If we miss a pass, they can counter at any moment. They have van Dijk and Alisson who are great long-throwers. The two full-backs have great feet. They can cause problems on every part of the pitch.“
The Officials (POL)
Referee: Szymon Marciniak
Assistant referees: Paweł Sokolnicki, Tomasz Listkiewicz
Fourth official: Paweł Raczkowski
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski, Bartosz Frankowski
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.