Southampton could be set to unleash record signing Sofiane Boufal on Thursday night as they travel to the San Siro to face Inter Milan in the Europa League.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder is yet to feature for the Saints since his summer move due to a knee injury, but could make his debut in Italy.
— Adrian Kajumba (@AdrianJKajumba) October 19, 2016
They will be without the trio of Nathan Redmond, Cedric Soares and Matt Targett though, as they have not made the trip.
It is the first meeting of the two clubs, six years on from Inter’s Champions League triumph under the guidance of Jose Mourinho.
In that same year Southampton lifted the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and finished seventh in League One, but go into this game unbeaten in their last seven outings in all competitions.
Charlie Austin grabbed a brace in their 3-1 home win over Burnley at the weekend and the striker has seven goals in his last six appearances.
The hosts’ form has been poor of late, with three defeats in a row in all competitions and losses in their opening two fixtures in Group K.
Inter are currently 11th in Serie A and can’t afford another loss in Europe or their chances of progressing could be all but over.
The Inter Milan ultras say their former skipper is “dead to them”.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 20, 2016
Mauro Icardi has fallen out with the club’s fans, who have displayed banners against their captain and also cheered when he missed a penalty against Cagliari on Sunday.
Claude Puel wants his visiting team to take advantage of the hostile atmosphere, while his opposite number Frank de Boer will be desperate for a win which could save his job just two months into his reign.
Potential Inter Milan Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; Santon, Miranda, Murillo, Nagatomo; Medel, Brozovic; Candreva, Banega, Eder; Icardi.
Potential Southampton Starting XI (4-4-2): Forster; Martina, Yoshida, Van Dijk, McQueen; Romeu, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Tadic; Austin, Long.