The stage is set for Inter Milan's youngsters to shine in Russia on Thursday night, as head coach Andrea Stramaccioni pits an inexperienced Nerazzurri side against Rubin Kazan.
- Related Content
Rubin and Inter have already booked their progression to the knockout stages of the Europa League but top spot in Group H is still up for grabs and Stramaccioni has backed his young stars to claim it on Thursday.
The Beneamata have skilfully navigated an injury crisis over recent weeks, coping without defenders Walter Samuel, Andrea Ranocchia and Christian Chivu to sustain a bid for the Serie A title, while midfielders Wesley Sneijder and Philippe Coutinho also struggle for fitness.
Stramaccioni has decided to draft relative unknowns Simone Pasa, Mauro Benassi, Isaac Donkor and Andrea Bandini - among other academy products - into his travelling party.
He told inter.it: "Even if we haven't brought many famous players, I'm sure that our youngsters will do well.
"There are 10 lads here who are under the age of 21 and I promise that some of them will play.
"There has been a bit of an emergency at Inter and we've played a lot without our most experienced centre-backs and midfielders.
"In the first few Europa League games these kinds of personnel changes were a choice, but now they are a necessity."
Rubin defender Salvatore Bocchetti knows the Nerazzurri well from a spell with Genoa, while midfielder Roman Eremenko played alongside Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic at Udinese for four years.
The Tatary have not been beaten in their last 17 European games at the Centralniy Stadium and Stramaccioni is a self-confessed admirer of head coach Kurban Berdyev.
He added: "I have great respect for Rubin's coach, he's among the best in Europe.
"Very little is said about him but they caused us a lot of problems in Milan. It will be a good game."