Inter vs Rapid Wien Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Inter host Rapid Wien in the second leg of their Europa League last 32 tie at San Siro on Thursday night.

Lautaro Martinez’s solitary strike secured a precious win and an elusive away goal in Austria to give the Nerazzurri a relatively comfortable cushion as they look to reach the last 16 of European competition for the first time since 2014/2015.

Meanwhile, their opponents bounced back from that ?loss with a 5-2 thrashing over Hartberg in the Austrian Cup quarter-finals, but have it all to do in Italy. 

Check out 90min’s breakdown below.


Where to Watch

?When Is Kick Off? Thursday 21 February?
?What Time Is Kick Off? ?20:00 (BST)
?Where Is It Played? San Siro
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?BT Sport 3
?Referee? ?TBC

Team News

?Inter boss Luciano Spalletti will look to freshen up his squad from Sunday’s 2-1 league victory over Sampdoria, with Matias Vecino and Kwadwo Asamoah two of several likely to be recalled. 

??Mauro Icardi is set to miss out once more amid an ongoing contract dispute, whilst Sime Vrsalkjo is a long term absentee after requiring knee surgery which is set to keep him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Radja Nainggolan

Rapid Wien manager Dietmar Kuhbauer will be without long term absentee Tamas Szanto, who has been sidelined since March 2018.


Predicted Lineups

Inter? ?Handanovic; Cedric, De Vrij, Miranda, Asamoah; Vecino, Brozovic, Politano, Perisic, Nainggolan; Martinez.
?Rapid Wien ?Strebinger; Potzmann, Sonnleitner, Hofmann, Mbombo; Thurnwald, Grahovac, Ljubicic, Ivan; Schwab, Berisha. 

Head to Head Record

Prior to Inter’s victory over their opponents last week, these sides had met just twice in two-legged affairs in Europe, with both each registering aggregate victories.

SK Rapid Wien v FC Internazionale - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: First Leg

The Austrian outfit have failed to win any of their last ten meetings against Italian sides, drawing three and losing seven. However, their last success came against Inter in the former UEFA Cup back in September 1990.


Recent Form

After enduring a four-match winless run after the winter break when they managed just one goal, Spalletti’s side have turned the screw in recent weeks and come into this fixture on the back of three consecutive wins. 

Although they’ll likely have to manage without star man Icardi, fellow striker Martinez could prove the ideal interim replacement for his compatriot.

Samir Handanovic,Joao Miranda

The 21-year-old has netted five goals in 23 appearances in all competitions this term as he looks to guide his side to a first trophy since 2010/2011 under former boss Jose Mourinho. 

The Europa League doesn’t make for good reading for the 32 time Austrian champions, who have lost the most games of any European side (23) since the reformation from the UEFA Cup in 2009. This is their final game before the start of their domestic campaign on Sunday. 

Here’s how each side has faired in their last five fixtures.

Inter? ?Rapid Wien
?Inter 2-1 Sampdoria (17/2) ?Rapid Wien 5-2 Hartberg (17/2)
?Rapid Wien 0-1 Inter (14/2) ?Rapid Wien 0-1 Inter (14/2)
?Parma 0-1 Inter (9/2) ?Austria Wien 6-1 Rapid Wien (16/12)
?Inter 0-1 Bologna (3/2) ?Rapid Wien 1-0 Rangers (13/12)
?Inter 1-1 Lazio (3-4 Pens) (31/1) ?Rapid Wien 0-0 SK Sturm Graz (9/12)

Prediction

Despite holding a 1-0 advantage, Spalletti knows his side can be susceptible to shock results in Europe, notably dropping out of their Champions League group into this competition.

Another shrewd defensive performance may be needed to keep their opponents at bay, who will no doubt have to play on the front foot to progress themselves.

Ivan Perisic,Matias Vecino

With their hopes of a top four finish in Serie A not a certainty, Inter will be aiming to go all the way in securing a Champions League spot next season.

Prediction: Inter 2-1 Rapid Wien

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Sime Vrsaljko Set to Be Out Until End of 2019 After Undergoing ‘Successful’ Knee Surgery

Atletico Madrid full-back Sime Vrsaljko has confirmed that he will be out of action for between nine and ten months after undergoing knee surgery.

Vrsaljko joined Inter on a season-long loan at the start of the 2018/19 campaign, but the Croatian’s time in Milan has been interrupted by a knee injury, restricting him to just 13 appearances in all competitions. He last featured for Inter at the start of January in a Coppa Italia clash against Benevento.

Sime Vrsaljko

It now appears that Vrsaljko’s time with ?Inter has come to an end, with knee surgery ruling him out until near the end of the calendar year. 

?“I will be sidelined for around 10 months,” he said in an interview with ?Sportske Novosti. “It is normal considering how complicated the operation was. The most important thing is that everything went to plan, I am happy and focused on my recovery.”

The 27-year-old then went on to insist that he will not be taking any risks during his road to recovery, and that he wants to be fully fit when he eventually makes his return for Atletico Madrid.

“I will not return until I am 100 percent fit,” he added. “After the injury problems that I have suffered, my priority is to get back to full fitness in order to ensure that I am on top of my game when I do come back. I am not in any hurry, I will come back stronger than ever.”

Vrsaljko is set to return to his parent club and begin his recovery alongside specialist doctors at Los Rojiblancos.

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Inter Announce New Appointments to Board of Directors After Erick Thohir Sells 31% Share in Club

?Inter have confirmed two new appointments to their board of directors, after 31% shareholder Erick Thohir sold his share in the club to Hong Kong-based fund LionRock Capital last month. 

The club confirmed on Monday that LionRock have become the second biggest shareholder, and that representatives from the company, Daniel Tseung and Tom Pitts, will join the club’s board effective immediately. 

“Since the beginning of this fascinating journey our intentions were made clear, to take Inter and make it one of the most prestigious and successful clubs in the world,” ?Inter President Steven Zhang told the ?club website.

“After two and a half years, we have made important steps forward in our project achieving strong results on the pitch and off the pitch. The interest of LionRock Capital, such a reputable institution, is proof that we are taking this project in the right direction.


“Today, we are proud to formally welcome LionRock Capital into the Inter family as our new shareholder. Together, we will win, entertain, inspire and connect people, providing the best possible experience for the millions of Inter fans around the world.”

Tseung, one of the founders and current managing director of LionRock, added: “It is an honour to have been nominated to the board of directors of FC Internazionale Milano along with Tom Pitts. 


“At LionRock Capital we are very optimistic about the business development prospects of all sports-related activities and in particular, we believe that FC Internazionale Milano has strong future development potential. 

“We will fully support the club in their objective to become one of the world’s top football clubs.”

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Juventus Chief Admits to Making Shock Mauro Icardi Enquiry as Inter Contract Saga Rolls On

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has confirmed that the club made enquiries into signing Inter striker Mauro Icardi ahead of the summer transfer window, as rumours continue to swirl regarding the forward’s future. 

The striker was recently strippe?d of I ?Nerazzurri captaincy due to the fracture in relations that his contract extension talks have caused, and this has only increased the rumours of an exit this summer.

And, amid this saga, the Old Lady’s sporting director has confirmed that La Vecchia Signora has spoken to the Milanese club last summer about taking Icardi off their hands. 

Mauro Emanuel Icardi,Wanda Nara

Speaking to Rai Radio1, as quoted by ?Goal, Paratici admitted: “We asked for info. We wanted to know what Icardi thinks about playing for Juve.”

However, he was coy about any negotiations regarding ?Icardi in the present and future, proclaiming: “But now there are no contacts, he’s an Inter player and we are thinking about our season.

“Lately there has been no contact, we are in February, he is an ?Inter player and we have important races ahead of us. It’s a theme that we will come back to, or not, in June.”

When probed on I Bianconeri’s interest in youngsters Federico Chiesa, Nicolo Zaniolo, Nicolo Barella and Sandro Tonali, though, Paratici boldly affirmed: “Very good young players, we are following them.”


There have also been rumours regarding the current frontman Paulo Dybala – who netted in Serie A for the first time since November in the 3-0 victory over Frosinone – but Paratici was quick to quell these, though still issued the Argentine with a challenge.

Paratici declared: “He [Dybala] has almost always played this season and he has already proven to be a very important player for ?Juventus. He must improve to become a symbol of this club.”

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Bayern Considering €75m Move for Paulo Dybala Amid Interest From Liverpool & Inter

?Bayern Munich are thought to be considering an offer for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, as the Bavarian giants look to re-shape their attack in the summer. 

Despite a recent revival, the Bundesliga champions have fallen short of expectations so far this season, and sit two points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund having played a game more than their title rivals.

With veteran wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery out of contract in the summer, and forwards Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski both entering their 30s, speculation has been rife that coach Niko Kovac could look for a new long-term talisman in the summer – and Italian press say that Dybala offers one potential solution. 

The news comes from Tutto Mercato Web (via ?Focus) who say ?Bayern are serious about a €75m bid, and are prepared to offer the player an annual salary of €10m to see off interest from Liverpool and ?Inter

Times change, but Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expressed his admiration of the player back in 2017, when he openly admitted he would like to bring the Argentine to the club. 

“There are some excellent players in the market at the moment, and when I think of one I would like to bring to Bayern, I think of someone like Dybala,” he said.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

It looks a long way from concrete this stage, but it’s an improvement on the ?swap deal for Mohamed Salah speculation we were working with at the tail end of last week. 

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