Wolfsburg - VfL Wolfsburg will be hoping to lay the groundwork to progression to the last eight of the UEFA Europa League when they host FC Internazionale Milano in their last 16 first-leg tie on Thursday (kick-off 19:00 CET / 18:00 GMT).

bundesliga.com previews the action from the Volkswagen Arena...

Wolfsburg have the potential to go all the way in the competition, and beating Inter - UEFA Champions League winners in 2010 - would be a huge fillip for the Wolves. With the last 16 also set to possibly eliminate the likes of AS Roma, FC Zenit and Sevilla FC, victory on Thursday could prove to be a giant step towards glory.

Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking could have the luxury of being able to select the returning Ivan Perisic (r.), albeit from the bench, after the Croatian declared himself fit after a thigh injury. "I think I’ll be involved, but I have to be ready," said the 26-year-old. Maximilian Arnold is doubtful, but otherwise the coach has no fresh injury worries.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini has a strong squad to choose from, with forwards Mauro Icardi, Rodrigo Palacio (who scored a brace in the first leg of Inter's last 32 clash against Celtic FC) and Xherdan Shaqiri all fit. Former VfB Stuttgart midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic (l.) has also travelled.

He may have been on the losing side and suffering from "fatigue" on Matchday 24, but Kevin de Bruyne (r.) has been a constant in the team’s nine league and cup games so far. He has played 90 minutes in seven of them, scoring four goals, assisting seven and playing what is arguably the best football of his career.

A familiar face to Bundesliga fans, Shaqiri (l.) has been an instant hit since joining the Italian club from FC Bayern München in January. The stocky Swiss midfielder has scored once in seven Serie A appearances and was also on target against Celtic. The 23-year-old won all five games he played for Bayern against the Wolves.

Hecking: "Anyone who makes the mistake of underestimating Inter has already lost."

Daniel Caligiuri (r.): "It’s been my dream to play at the San Siro and my first game - the Milan derby - was there. Part of my family still live there and they’re all Inter fans."

Mancini (l.) : "If we play like we did [in the 2-2 draw with SSC Napoli last weekend], we're capable of giving ourselves a good platform for the second leg. Wolfsburg is a magnificent draw for us. It’ll be a wonderful game in a fantastic stadium."

Wolfsburg's momentum was dented somewhat by a 1-0 defeat to FC Augsburg last Saturday, their first defeat in 15 games in all competitions, but they have not conceded in any of their last three European matches. Inter, meanwhile, come into the game in confident mood after a 2-2 draw away at Napoli in their last domestic outing.

This will be the first time the two clubs have met in European competition, although Wolfsburg have met Inter's fierce city rivals AC Milan once before, drawing 2-2 in a UEFA Cup game December 2008. Diego Benaglio and Marcel Schäfer (pictured, l.) are the only survivors from that team still playing for the Wolves today.