Inter Milan open their 2019-20 Champions League campaign with a win when they welcome Slavia Prague to San Siro on Tuesday night.
Under new head coach Antonio Conte, Inter have made a perfect start to the new Serie A season, and the Italian giants will be the favourites to overcome their Czech opponents in Milan.
Inter have beaten Leece, Cagliari and Udinese in their three Serie A matches this season to top the table with nine points. Conte’s side will face AC Milan in a huge derby next weekend.
Conte will view both matches against Slavia Prague as must-wins when considering that Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona make up Group F. It is set to be a fascinating battle to qualify for the last-16 stage of the Champions League.
I Nerazzurri were the last Italian team to win the Champions League having triumphed in 2010. This is the 13th time that they have been present in the group stage of the competition, although last season – where they were eliminated in the groups – was their first appearance since 2011-12.
Inter last locked horns with Slavia Prague in the group stage of the Europa League during the 2016-17 campaign suffering a 3-1 loss in Prague before recording a 2-1 victory on home soil courtesy of a double from Eder.
Romelu Lukaku will be desperate to build on what has been a positive start to his Inter career.
Slavia Prague have won seven of their nine matches this term – remaining unbeaten in the process – to top the table on 23 points. Jindrich Trpisovsky‘s side will enter the match off the back of a 3-0 home win over Slovacko on Saturday, while they have actually not lost a competitive game since the end of April.
Cervenobili won a domestic double last season, while they managed to negotiate the Champions League qualifying rounds for just the second time. Indeed, Slavia Prague have only ever appeared in one previous group-stage campaign – 12 years ago when they finished third in their section.
The Czech outfit advanced through the groups before overcoming Genk and Sevilla in the knockout rounds to set up a quarter-final with Chelsea and have recorded a 5-3 aggregate victory to advance, but Slavia Prague scored three times in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Tuesday’s match, though, will mark the Czech team’s first game against an Italian club since drawing 0-0 with Genoa during the group stages of the Europa League back in 2009.
Inter Milan possible starting lineup: Handanovic; Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar; Asamoah, Brozovic, Barella, Candreva; Sensi, Lukaku, Politano
Slavia Prague possible starting lineup: Kolar; Coufal, Kudela, Hovorka, Boril; Kral, Soucek; Oladeji, Stanciu, Masopust; Skoda