Usually, Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon is where the University of Oregon Ducks American football team call home. The raucous atmospheres that happen in autumn give this stadium the moniker of “The Autzen Zoo.” But this time, it will host an association football game. Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan face Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain in a preview of the UEFA Champions League in the International Champions Cup.
— PSG English (@PSG_English) July 24, 2016
“For me it’s a challenge and a step up in my career,” said Emery. “The last few years in Sevilla and winning the Europa League gave a new dimension to Sevilla – to the club, to the players and to me, the coach. That success now needs to continue and the opportunity that Paris Saint-Germain has given me will help me to improve, with a great team, to reach even more ambitious heights.
“One of the characteristics that I’d like the team to have, like you said in your question, is to play with high pressure. The team needs to be well-drilled and organised in order to play with such pressure but that pressure needs to have an objective. The Paris Saint-Germain players need to know how to control a game with that pressure and that’s the real objective. Positive and organised pressure allows the players to keep the ball and be well-positioned in order to be successful in front of goal.
“The International Champions Cup is an important tournament for us as we prepare for the Trophée des Champions, but also the start of the new season and the competitions we’ll be playing in, such as Ligue 1 and the Champions League. All three of our opponents will demand a lot from us, but the matches will give us a chance to see where we are in terms of our preparations and the ideas we’ve been trying to put in place on the pitch.
“We’ll be able to apply those ideas against Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Leicester City. Obviously we’d like to play well in those games and we’d also like to win so that we can be motivated to carry on executing our plans to have an identity on the pitch. This tournament gives us the opportunity to do just that.”
“There are lots of fans here wanting to see the players, lots of enthusiasm for Inter,” said Inter Milan president Erick Thohir. “I’m excited about Erkin and Ansaldi. With them and our other players we have options on both flanks and that’s important – especially as we’ll be challenging on three fronts this year. I think with the quality of strikers we have they’re all capable of getting into double figures this year.”
“We’re here for the International Champions Cup because we want to play big teams like Paris Saint-Germain, but of course pre-season is important for getting the players working together too. We hope to be playing against the likes of PSG in the Champions League come next season.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for the match between Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
- Samir Handanovic will make at least four saves.
- Kevin Trapp will make at least four saves.
- Hatem Ben Arfa will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
- Eder will score for Inter Milan.
- Gary Medel will score for Inter Milan.
- Javier Pastore will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
- Edinson Cavani will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
- Angel Di Maria will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
- At least four cards will be issued.
- Under 50 fouls will be whistled.
Paris Saint-Germain 4, Inter Milan 2