Serie A side Inter will be aiming to rewind the heroics of 2010 and clinch the Champions League for this season when they face treble-chasing Manchester City on Saturday in Istanbul.
Manchester City will be chasing the Champions League for the second time in three seasons, losing it to Chelsea in the 2020-21 season. Pep Guardiola has practically formulated an invincible team and because of the elevated level of team chemistry inculcated within them by the Catalan manager, Man City could lift the Premier League title and F.A. Cup this season.
While Arsenal looked clear favourites to win the Premier League title, City’s charge and consistency never faltered and ultimately won them their first piece of the treble puzzle — a feat Guardiola is chasing since joining The Sky Blues. The Cityzens have never clinched the Champions League in their history. They came close two seasons back against Chelsea in the final but Kai Havertz’s goal postponed their celebrations to an indefinite future date. However, this might be the time, City put an end to their European accolade drought.
Manchester City approach the Champions League final on the back of the 2-1 F.A. Cup final win against neighbourhood rivals Manchester United. Their last two games in the Premier League ended in a draw and a loss, but the prime factor of the results was that Pep Guardiola rotated his starting line-up heavily to keep his lads fit for the upcoming two finals.
Meanwhile, Inter are focusing on their willpower and resiliency as they are set to face an uphill battle against Manchester City in the Champions League final.
Simone Inzaghi will be looking to embed his name alongside the name of Jose Mourinho who was the last manager to take Inter to the final and clinch the treble. Though a treble is not possible for the Italian manager, he and his players can still achieve greatness by winning it against the favourites.
The Nerazzurri have already bagged the Supercoppa Italiana against neighbourhood rivals Milan and the Coppa Italia versus Fiorentina. They are expected to be mentally ready for the final tomorrow but the magnitude of the event in Istanbul surpasses all the build-up for any other final.
Inter has the chance to complete the rejuvenation of Italian football from the dark by winning the final. It is surely an uphill task for them and they are predicted to bet on their defence to keep out City for as long as possible but goals win matches. It will be interesting to watch to see how the three-time Champions set up their gameplay against Pep’s formidable team.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
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W W W L W
Pep Guardiola is set to have his whole squad available for the match but the involvement of right-back Kyle Walker remains a concern as the manager reported him to be having problems with his back.
Ederson will return on goal after Stefan Ortega deputized for him in the F.A. Cup final.
Ilkay Gundogan and Erling Haaland will aim to make a mark as they are in red-hot form this season.
As for Inter, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is reportedly racing against time to be tested fit for the final.
Edin Dzeko is set to pair up front with Lautaro Martinez. Joaquin Correa will make the bench after sustaining a minor injury against Fiorentina.
Defenders Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij will aim to make it a memorable match as this might be the final time they set foot on the pitch in Nerazzurri colours.
Manchester City (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland
Inter (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Martinez, Dzeko
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN