First Leg: Inter 1-0 Rapid (Inter lead 1-0 on Away goals)
Following their win against Sampdoria Inter welcome visitors Rapid Wein in their second installment of the Europa League knockout stages. In their first match Inter would win the match 1-0. The goal would come after Inter were given a penalty after Thurnwald tripped up Martinez. Martinez would then convert the penalty with a right footed shot as the ball lands in the center of the goal. In this match a draw or win for Inter would send them on to the round of sixteen with the draw to be done on the 22nd. But if Rapid Wein win this match 2-0 due to the away goals they would be the ones going on to the next batch of matches.
Inter going into this match are going into it with a winning momentum as they have won their past three matches across all competitions. It’s been awhile since they’ve been this far in a European competition. Inter ever since Handanovic took over as captain Inter seem to be stronger than ever. They seem more organized verses that when Icardi was captain. Handanovic as always had strong leadership qualities and now he’s getting the chance to use them. Defensive wise Inter are still hit and miss but they’re slowly improving. The players who show consistency every week are the duo of Skriniar and Devrij. They both do a great job blocking chances along with stealing the ball. Skriniar on the other hand also does a solid job creating chances when he gets the chance. In the past few matches at some point or another he creates a chance though not converting on it. But he also is good with assist as well. On the defensive mid the stronger duo in this area is Brozovic and Gagliardini because Vecino has hit and miss performances. On the attacking side of things they still need to finish those chances which they have gotten better with. So far the strongest player in that area who does a great job with creating and finishing scoring chances is Radja who is showing signs of life again. The same can be said about Politano. Martinez though as proven to be a solid starter despite getting few starting chances early on this season. He is doing a great job finishing chances along with scoring them as well. This is why he will continue to be the difference maker as he continues to be a threat no matter where he plays from if Rapid don’t isolate him Inter will be the ones moving onto the round of sixteen.
This match is due or die as they will need to win this match if they have any hopes of winning this match. Rapid struggled to get any momentum going in the first match against Inter only getting four chances. But besides the only slip up with the penalty conversion they did a solid job defending the ball. Thurnwald did a solid job making sure Inter didn’t get access to the ball despite drawing the foul on Martinez. Auer and Dibon also did a solid job blocking Inter’s chances as well. On the midfield side of things Schobesberger, Ljbicic did a great job creating three out of the four chances but they need to work on creating more chances if they have any hopes of winning this match. Ivan on the forward side will be they key threat as he will do whatever is needed to win the match to help them move on.
The bottom line
In this match Rapid will need to give it everything they got if they want to pull off the win. They will need to make sure Inter don’t get the ball along with stealing it when they do have it. Also they have to finish their scoring chances along with capitalizing on two of them and making sure Inter don’t score. Inter on the other hand will need to do the same things along with carrying the momentum from their previous matches with them to give them that winning mentality. This match should be an Inter win but of course even in competitions this match can go either way but on paper Inter definitely have the edge and should have no problems moving onto the round of sixteen.
Inter Projected 4-2-3-1
Def Asomah, Skriniar, Devrij, D’Ambrosio
Def mid Brozovic and Gagliardini
Att mid Persic, Radja, Politano
Rapid projected 4-4-1-1
Def Mbombo, Hofmann, Sonnleitner, Potzmann
Def mid Schwab, Thurnwald, Ljubici, Grahavoc
Att mid Ivan
Stadium San Siro
Place Milan Italy
Date Feburary 21st
Time 2pm Usa 8pm Uk 9pm Italy