Qarabag v Inter: Hosts nervy ahead of crucial clash

Qarabag captain Rashad Sadygov does not see Inter's likely move to rest players as beneficial ahead of their UEFA Europa League meeting.

The Azerbaijani side - in the Europa League group stage for the first time - are in with every chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds, sitting second in Group F ahead of Thursday's clash.

Italian giants Inter have already secured qualification and top the group by five points, leading to suggestions that Roberto Mancini will make wholesale changes for his side's visit to Baku.

Qarabag have claimed five points, the same as Saint-Etienne, while Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk are a point adrift of the pair.

But Sadygov, who also captains Azerbaijan, is not sure that Inter's rotation is a good thing for his side.

"It's a tough match," Sadygov was quoted as saying on UEFA's official website.

"Everyone knows how hard it is to win in Serie A, so just imagine what it is like to play against an Italian club on the international stage.

"Obviously we'll do all we can to win.

"They [the media] say that Roberto Mancini will not take his best players to Baku, but I'm not sure that's a plus for us.

"The guys that need playing time will do all they can to impress their coach. Players are usually really aggressive in these situations, so we will have problems."

Sadygov also conceded his side will be missing some of their stars, and that the pressure on them will be significant.

"We have to cope with the absence of some of our key players too," he added.

"Three of our Brazilian players are injured, while [striker] Innocent Emeghara is not registered to play in the group stage.

"We will be playing in front of our fans and this sometimes can add to the pressure. We have a huge responsibility and just can't let them down."

Qarabag are in excellent form domestically, and lead Azerbaijan's top flight, but they have not won at home in the Europa League match since August last year.

Successive Serie A defeats - to Roma and Udinese - have heaped the pressure on new Inter coach Mancini.

The ex-Manchester City and Galatasaray boss has won just one of his four clashes in charge - a 2-1 Europa League success against Dnipro last month.

Sunday's 2-1 home loss to Udinese was particularly disappointing, given Inter led 1-0 with just over 30 minutes to play.

That defeat means Inter now sit 12th in Serie A, and they face Chievo this weekend before tough clashes against Lazio and three-time defending champions Juventus.

As a result, Mancini is set to rotate his squad, with Mauro Icardi - who scored on Sunday and has four Europa League goals so far this term - one of those likely to miss out.