What can Southampton expect from Inter Milan in their Europa League tie?

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Southampton host Inter Milan in Group K of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Let's take a closer look at the Italian giants.

Manager

Frank De Boer
Frank De Boer didn't last long at Inter, being sacked just this week (Niall Carson/PA)

It's been a bit of a revolving door as former Ajax head coach Frank de Boer paid the price for Inter's poor start to the new campaign when he was sacked earlier this week. It came after less than three months in charge after he replaced Roberto Mancini in August.

Youth team coach Stefano Vecchi has been placed in interim control of the senior side and will be in charge for the trip to St Mary's. Veteran Dutch coach Guus Hiddink has been touted as a possible successor, while former Parma and Lazio boss Stefano Pioli is another said to be under consideration.

Form

Inter Milan players celebrate
Things haven't looked all that great for Inter lately (Luca Bruno/AP)

The Nerazzurri finished fourth in Serie A last season but their defeat to Sampdoria on Sunday was the Nerazzurri's fourth loss in their last five Serie A matches and sees them sitting 12th in the standings - 13 points adrift of leaders Juventus.

Inter have also struggled in the Europa League and sit bottom of Group K with three points from three games heading into Thursday's clash. However, the Saints will need no reminding of their 1-0 defeat at San Siro earlier this month and that they could drop out of the qualifying places if beaten again.

Key man

Mauro Icardi
Mauro Icardi is the best of an underperforming bunch (Luca Bruno/AP)

Captain Mauro Icardi has scored eight goals this season in a team which has largely underperformed. The 23-year-old Argentinian netted a brace in the 2-1 win over Torino on October 26.

Icardi is the player looked to by Inter to make something happen, but recent events have seen the forward asked to show more of his leadership qualities as Inter go through a testing period of transition.

European pedigree

Jose Mourinho holds up the cup with his team
Jose Mourinho's famous Champions League win saw them overcome a seemingly unbeatable Barcelona along the way (Odd Andersen/AP)

As you probably know, Inter have quite a history. They have secured the domestic Italian title 18 times - with five in a row from 2006 to 2010 - and won the old European Cup in both 1964 and 1965. Inter also won the UEFA Cup three times in the 1990s, a period when they had the likes of Walter Zenga in goal with Dennis Bergkamp and Ruben Sosa spearheading the attack.

The quest for the modern Champions League crown ended in 2010 when, with Jose Mourinho as manager, Inter beat Bayern Munich at the final in Madrid. However, recent seasons have seen Inter fail to qualify for the Champions League group stages, their last appearance being in 2011-12.