Former Liverpool and Napoli defender Andrea Dossena believes that Inter should not hold back in their starting eleven when they face Liverpool in the Champions League this evening.
Speaking to Italian news outlet FCInter1908, the former defender emphasized the importance of playing a strong team for the Nerazzurri despite what looks like a low probability of qualifying for the next round.
Inter have a mountain to climb at Anfield, having a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to overturn against one of Europe’s strongest sides in a hostile away ground.
This could well lead to the temptation to write the match off, playing a weakened eleven with a view to keeping the most important players in the team fresh for fixtures in the Serie A title race, which looks to be tighter than ever.
Dossena believes that the best approach would be to play the strongest team in the hope of getting something from the match.
“The coach’s only obligation is to himself,” he said. “If I were him, I would still start with my strongest team.”
He went on that “At the same time, if at a certain point the game isn’t going in the right direction, it would be understandable to give some players a rest on the bench and to allow some other players experience at Anfield.”
Of the first leg, in which the Nerazzurri lost 2-0 at the San Siro, he said that “Inter played a great match in the first leg.”
“You have to be patient and be good at overcoming their pressure,” he advised, “just like you did at San Siro. And then you have to score to find the lead, which was what was missing in the first leg.”
“The ideal thing would be to unlock it at the start and then play your game at your own pace without losing patience in search of the second goal,” he continued. “You’ll have to take some risk, that’s inevitable.”
Of the Nerazzurri’s left wing-backs, he said that “Perisic has learned the role in recent years. In Italy, Inter are more used to attacking than defending, so maybe they have fewer problems.”
“Gosens, on the other hand, is more complete than the Croatian,” he went on. “Given all the commitments that the team has, I don’t see why they should play together.”
“It makes them for them to alternate in my opinion,” he added, “especially because Gosens, no matter how good, can’t integrate completely in a few days. However, having two wing-backs at this level is a great advantage.”
And on the Scudetto race, Dossena stated that “I’ave always said to myself that Inter would win the Scudetto, with Napoli and Milan fighting for second place and Juventus and Atalanta for the last Champions League place.”
“I didn’t expect the collapse from Atalanta,” he continued, “they had many injuries and this has affected them more than in other years.”
“I still see Inter as the favourites for the Scudetto because they already won it last year, and because they have the most complete squad,” he concluded. “Napoli and Milan are on the same level, a step below them.”