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Rapid Wien v Inter - Europa League
Rarely do I look at the matches when there are 2 teams who are clearly mismatched in quality go against each other, however, there is one exception that makes me break that "rule". Team news. With a lot of drama in the football world, every once and a while there are news which makes me think "how will that affect the team and their performances?". I asked myself that after the Icardi drama and the recent news of him not playing for Inter against Rapid Wien in the 1/16 of the Europa League. It's not a secret anymore Inter and Icardi are slowly but surely paring their ways. After a lot of drama, it has finally happened, the Inter Milan captain has been stripped of his captaincy, which only poured oil on to the fire, ultimately resulting in Icardi refusing to play for the team. Icardi has been linked with a transfer to Real Madrid for a while and despite the fact Icardi's agent insisted the Argentinian player will commit his future to Inter, the rumours of Icardi leaving just became that much more believable after the club's recent announcement. Now, why is this important? There are 3 people in the squad, which you don't want to have bad relations with. Coach, Goalkeeper and your main striker. With 9 goals this season, Icarci has been the main force in the Inters frontline, which brought them to the 3rd spot in the Serie A. With 43 points in Serie A, Inter will not catch up to Juventus who are 20 points ahead. So their only chance of silverware this season is winning the Europa League, but first, they need to win against their northern neighbours, Rapid Wien in the 1/16 finals of the Europa League on February 14th. But can they do it without Icardi? Rapid Wien a huge underdog in the Europa League have been paired with a though opponent Inter Milan, who were among the top favourites to win the Europa League. As of now, Rapid Wien are 8th in the Austrian Bundesliga with an overall record of 5-5-8. With their most recent match in the league taking place in December 16th, Rapid have played 6 friendly matches in January and February to prepare themselves for the big day in Europa League. Out of the 6 friendlies, Rapid won 4, lost 1 and drew 1. While I could go on and point out the results of those friendly matches, those do not show a real picture of the team's form, but are rather looked at like a "training match". Inter will be without Skriniar, Brozovic and Icardi, while Vrsaljko is still questionable to appear. On the other side, Rapid Wien will have their full squad available. The first leg of 1/16 finals of the Europa League between Inter Milan and Rapid Wien will take place in Austria, at Allianz Stadion. Inter is still considered a heavy favourites to win, which is not surprising as the Italian team as a whole is considered to be a class or 2 above the Austrian side, however, there is one thing Inter has that Rapid doesn't. Drama. All the drama that surrounds Inter slowly but surely took a toll on their performances. Inter is coming into the match with a 1-1-3 record in their last 5 games. In the course of those 5 games, they have lost to Torino (1:0), Lazio (1:2) and Bologna (0:1), while they managed to grab points against Sassuolo (0:0) and Parma (0:1). What I expect in the upcoming match is yet another chaotic performance from Inter who seemingly lost their rhythm since Icardi stopped playing. Despite the clear difference in the quality of the teams, I believe Rapid are strong enough to hold Inter at 0:0. While a win for Rapid Wien is not likely to happen, a draw is possible. Prediction: Rapid Wien +1.00 BetScorum Link: https://betscorum.com/en-us/game/1944 Good Luck!
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