x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Inter Milan turmoil ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's Europa League visit

The Italian Serie A side are roiling as the prepare to host their English Premier League rivals in the second leg of the quarter-finals.

Andrea Stramaccioni, the Inter Milan manager, will hope for a win at the San Siro. Daniel dal Zennaro / EPA
Andrea Stramaccioni, the Inter Milan manager, will hope for a win at the San Siro. Daniel dal Zennaro / EPA

After slumping to miserable first-leg losses last week, two recent Uefa Champions League winners have work to do to reach the quarter-finals of the second-tier Europa League tonight.

Yet, while Chelsea are in a positive frame of mind as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit to Steaua Bucharest, Inter Milan are in the grip of a crisis heading into a return match against Tottenham Hotspur already 3-0 behind.

The Italian media are speculating that the jobs of the coach Andrea Stramaccioni and the sports director Marco Branca are on the line if things do not turn around soon, with Inter seemingly on their way out of Europe and having won only three of their past 13 matches in Serie A.

Inter are grateful for small mercies in their current straits, so the absence of Tottenham's leader Gareth Bale, who is suspended for collecting a yellow card for diving in the first leg.

Chelsea also missed out on scoring an away goal last week but will be confident of bringing down Steaua, having come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday.

That display at least showed Chelsea are behind the interim coach Rafa Benitez, even if most of the fans of the reigning European champions are not.

"If we see the character that we saw, we have a chance," Benitez said.

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