‘Liverpool tend to fall asleep’ – Paolo Di Canio cheers on Inter Milan ahead of Champions League draw
Former Serie A striker Paolo Di Canio believes Inter Milan can beat Liverpool in the Champions League by capitalizing on the latter’s tendency to “fall asleep”. The Nerazzurri host the Reds in the first leg of their Round of 16 match at the San Siro on February 16, with very high odds against the Serie A holders.
Jurgen Klopp’s raging side are heavy favorites to progress against Inter, who are on course to win another Scudetto. However, Di Canio, who played against the Merseysiders in their Premier League days, believes there is a chance Inter could cause an upset.
Speaking to Italian newspaper Il Corriere dello Sport, he said:
“They are a terrifying opponent, but Inter have to be fearless and keep the ball because Liverpool tend to ‘fall asleep’.”
Liverpool faced Inter rivals AC Milan in the group stage, beating them home and away. They would therefore be confident in their chances at San Siro, where they also played on matchday six.
However, the Nerazzurri might be more formidable opposition, but they could have their task cut short without playmaker Nicolo Barella.
The midfielder was sent off in his last group game against Real Madrid and received a two-match ban, excluding him from the two round of 16 matches. Di Canio thinks Inter could miss his services, saying:
“It’s a shame for the suspension of Nicolò Barella, a Rottweiler that Inter would need.”
Inter Milan and Liverpool will meet after 14 years
Inter Milan reached the Champions League knockout stage for the first time since 2012. After six years, they qualified for the competition, but suffered three consecutive group stage exits.
Their last clash with Liverpool also came in the Round of 16, in 2008. The Reds took a 2-0 home win in the first leg that time. They went on to win 1-0 at Milan to wrap up a 3-0 aggregate win.