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Inter look beyond Bale threat

Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni insists his side have more to worry about than just Tottenham star Gareth Bale in their Europa League tie.

Bale announced himself on the continent with a stunning second-half hat-trick against Inter in 2010 in the Champions League.

The two teams meet in the Europa League last-16 at White Hart Lane on Thursday, and Stramaccioni has warned that the Wales winger is not the only player that needs to be watched.

“I think Tottenham are not only a very strong team physically, but they also has great quality,” Stramaccioni told reporters.

“(Inter coach Andre) Villas-Boas had the opportunity to develop with one of the best coaches in the world, Jose Mourinho.

“Bale is now one of the most complete players on the European scene; he is becoming crucial.

“Though Bale is strong, Tottenham have many champions. But we also have top players and have absolutely no fear. It’s Tottenham-Inter, not Bale-Inter.”

Injuries have depleted Inter’s squad and Stramaccioni is adamant that only those who are 100 per cent will feature in the first leg.

“We cannot risk anyone who is not in peak physical condition because we are in an emergency,” he added. “We are trying to recover as many players as possible for this game.

“If we’re to get a result tomorrow, we’re going to need to produce a huge performance.”

Stramaccioni also revealed that striker Antonio Cassano will return to the squad having been left out of the Nerazzurri’s 3-2 victory at Catania following a dispute between the pair.

“Cassano is here with us, he has trained and tomorrow I am sure that he will either start of be brought on to contribute.”

Wed 6 March, 2013
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