Liverpool fans are travelling to the San Siro for the second time this season, as they look to dispatch Inter Milan as easily as they did AC Milan.
Our supporters will be confident of a route to the next round, whilst also fully aware of the threats that could be posed to them by Simone Inzaghi’s team.
Two Inter supporters who also went to primary school in Liverpool before returning to Italy, Peter and Oliver Maggi, have spoken exclusively with Empire of the Kop on the viewpoint of the Italians ahead of the match.
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First, Peter said: ‘It’s a huge blow for Inter that they’re missing Nicolo Barella, he has been exceptional for Inter this year and he is the only one who could keep up with Liverpool’s intensity and pace of play.
‘As Jurgen Klopp said, I agree with him, Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic will be pivotal to keep us together against Liverpool’s attack.
‘Brozovic is the player in each game that runs the most, he always runs over 12km as he presses everyone, often wins the ball back and launches the counter attack.
‘He also manages the midfield very well and passes exceptionally, but he never inserts himself in attack as that’s Barella’s role.
‘Perisic has had an exceptional season on the left-hand side, on the right we keep changing between Matteo Darmian, Federico Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries – Perisic always plays.
‘He is consistent in both defending (he’ll be vital in helping block Mo Salah on that wing) and as an attacker.
‘Not too dangerous going forward, but he always gets a decent cross in for Edin Dzeko, who’s had an exceptional year up to now.
‘Even though he’s 35, he’s playing exceptionally with his pressing and scoring any chance he has – I think he could trouble both Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.
‘Lautaro Martinez is in a goal drought, hasn’t scored in weeks in any competition but he’ll probably start. Alexis Sanchez could be brought on if Lautaro is not aggressive and dangerous enough.
‘Hopefully Alessandro Bastoni will be back from his ankle injury, as he’s definitely the most solid defender at the back, best young Italian defender by far and he has a very delicate long pass for Dzeko, Lautaro and Perisic.
‘Inter fans are generally terrified of this fixture – after Liverpool beat AC Milan in Milan with basically 9 substitutes, it looks very difficult for them’.
His brother Oliver also had thoughts on this game: ‘The game will be a super challenging one for us.
‘This is without a doubt one of the busiest periods for Inter, having a stacked calendar with important games (AC Milan, Roma, Napoli, Liverpool, Sassuolo, Genoa, and Milan again for the semi-final of Coppa Italia).
‘Liverpool has been built by Klopp to sustain high intensity of play, to score loads of goals and to dictate the rhythm of the games.
‘As for Inter we must remember we’re playing at home and we must utilise all our strong points, I believe Brozovic, Bastoni and Perisic will have to produce a perfect game in order to have any chances.
‘At all costs, Sadio Mane and Salah must be contained and we need to try and use our numerical advantage in midfield to dictate the intensity, otherwise we will be subdued by Liverpool’s quality and intensity’.
It’s interesting how feared Jurgen Klopp’s side is, even by supporters across Europe, this is of course testament to the strength in our squad and our standing in the game.
A lot more focus from the Italian fans may be focused on us, than has been the other way round and we will be hoping that we have enough fire power to get past Nerazzurri.
Fingers crossed opposition fears are realised and we can take a strong lead back to Anfield, ahead of the second leg in March.
Fouls, indirect free-kicks and match-fixing: Liverpool vs. Inter Milan 1965