Inter pray to lady luck as Liverpool loom

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Inter held an intimate birthday party for 600 on Sunday to celebrate the club’s centenary.

The great and good from the Nerazzurri past and present were all there – but lurking like an unwelcome guest in the corner was Liverpool.

The thought of Inter once again falling flat on their faces in the Champions League before the competition even gets interesting has been too much to contemplate for the black and blue half of the city.

In truth those travelling to the San Siro do so more in hope than with any real confidence and so taken are Italians in general with scarmanzia, the need to ward off bad luck, that it’s impossible to get no more than a grunt and shrug out of the locals when questioned on their side’s chances.

Even Roberto Mancini, who is a slave to pre-game rituals, couldn’t help changing his routine and holding his final training session in the evening rather than conducting his normal mid-afternoon workout.

The heroes of the Inter side of 1965 who overturned a 3-1 scoreline to eliminate Liverpool 3-0 in the return leg, were also wheeled out to inspire their modern counterparts.

Today’s La Gazzetta Dello Sport calls on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to ‘Do the right thing’ and gives five reasons why this side can as they put it, ‘join the all-time greats’.

Reason number one was the good old scarmanzia and the lucky charm of the San Siro against the English as the pink ‘un recalled not only the ’65 comeback but a UEFA Cup tie with Aston Villa in 1990 when Inter overturned a 2-0 deficit.

The other four reasons were to do with football – but if anything is going to see Inter through then it is going to be Lady Luck.