Having successfully come through UEFA Champions League qualifying for only the second time, Slavia Praha return to the competition proper at one of Europe’s most famous stadiums, travelling to San Siro in Milan to take on Internazionale for the first time.
• While Inter are in the group stage for the second year running – having made their return in 2018/19 after six seasons away – Slavia’s sole previous appearance came in 2007/08.
Watch Inter win on matchday one last season
• This is the 13th time Inter have been in the group stage – last season was their first appearance since 2011/12.
• In 2018/19 Inter won their first two fixtures, against Tottenham and PSV Eindhoven, but picked up only two more points to lose out to Spurs on head-to-head record and finished third in Group B, which was won by Barcelona. Moving into the UEFA Europa League, they knocked out Rapid Wien in the round of 32 (1-0 a, 4-0 h) but lost 1-0 in the home second leg, and on aggregate, against Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 16.
• Defeat by Eintracht ended Inter’s six-match unbeaten home run in European matches (W4 D2).
• This is Inter’s fifth match against a Czech club, and a first since being paired with Sparta Praha in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage, when they lost 3-1 in Prague before a 2-1 home success.
• Champions of the Czech Republic for the second time in three years last season – their 18th domestic title – and also Czech Cup winners, completing their first double in the Czech Republic, Slavia have successfully negotiated the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds for only the second time. Since their sole previous group appearance 12 years ago – when they finished third in their section behind Arsenal and Sevilla – the Prague club have lost in the preliminary rounds four times.
• Twelve months ago Slavia were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Dynamo Kyiv in the third qualifying round (1-1 h, 0-2 a). Moving into the UEFA Europa League group stage, Jindřich Trpišovský’s side finished second behind Zenit in their section and went on to get the better of Genk and Sevilla in the knockout rounds before losing 5-3 to eventual champions Chelsea over two games (0-1 h, 3-4 a) in the quarter-finals.
• Slavia entered this season’s UEFA Champions League in the play-offs, where they beat Romania’s CFR Cluj 1-0 both home and away. Before that tie, they had won only one of their last 15 matches in the UEFA Champions League (D7 L7).
• The Prague club picked up five points in their only previous UEFA Champions League group campaign, in 2007/08, four of them against Steaua București (2-1 h, 1-1 a); they also drew 0-0 at home against Arsenal.
• This is Slavia’s first match against an Italian club since autumn 2009, when they drew 0-0 at home against Genoa having lost 2-0 away in the UEFA Europa League group stage. The latter result extended their run of defeats in Italy to six matches in six visits, the last three without scoring; Slavia’s trips to Serie A sides have resulted in three goals scored and 12 conceded.
Watch Slavia give Chelsea a scare last season
• Jakub Hromada played at youth level for Juventus (2012–2015), Genoa (2014, loan), Sampdoria (2015) and Pro Vercelli (2015, loan).
• Summer transfers
In: Matteo Politano (Sassuolo), Eddie Salcedo (Genoa), Gabriel Brazão (Parma), Diego Godín (Atlético), Valentino Lazaro (Hertha), Stefano Sensi (Sassuolo), Ionuț Radu (Genoa), Nicolò Barella (Cagliari), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina, loan), Alexis Sánchez (Manchester United, loan)
Out: Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Zinho Vanheusden (Standard Liège), Andrea Pinamonti (Genoa), Ionuț Radu (Genoa, loan), João Miranda (Jiangsu Suning), Radja Nainggolan (Cagliari, loan), George Pușcaș (Reading), Samuele Longo (Deportivo La Coruña, loan), Ivan Perišić (Bayern, loan), João Mário (Lokomotiv, loan), Dalbert (Fiorentina, loan), Mauro Icardi (Paris Saint-Germain, loan)
• Antonio Conte replaced Luciano Spalletti as Inter coach the summer, signing a three-year contract with the Nerazzurri.
• Lukaku was also on target on international duty, opening the scoring in Belgium’s 4-0 win in Scotland on 9 September.
• Lautaro Martínez scored three goals in 16 minutes as Argentina beat Mexico 4-0 in an 11 September friendly.
• On 6 August defender Danilo D’Ambrosio extended his contract with Inter until 2022.
• Summer transfers
In: Nicolae Stanciu (al-Ahli), Yusuf Helal (Bohemians), Tomáš Holeš (Jablonec), David Hovorka (Jablonec), Jakub Hora (Teplice, loan), Ladislav Takács (Mladá Boleslav, loan), Lukáš Provod (Viktoria Plzeň)
Out: Michel Ngadeu-Ngadui (Gent), Simon Deli (Club Brugge), Miroslav Stoch (PAOK), Jan Matoušek (Jablonec, loan), Jan Sýkora (Jablonec, loan), Alex Král (Spartak Moskva), Alexandru Băluță (Slovan Liberec, loan)
• Josef Hušbauer’s next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.
• Slavia won the Czechoslovak Super Cup on 6 July 2019 with a 3-0 defeat of Slovakian Cup winners Spartak Trnava.
• Including that game the Prague club are unbeaten in 19 competitive games (W15 D4), since a 1-0 league defeat at Zlín on 21 April.
• Slavia’s record in the Czech First League this season is six wins and two draws, with 16 goals scored and only two conceded.
• Goalkeeper Ondřej Kolár has kept seven clean sheets in eight Slavia appearances in all competitions this season.
• Kolář and defender David Hovorka missed the 1-1 draw at Opava on 1 September 2019, but have since resumed training.
Subject to weekend updates