Champions League PREVIEW | Inter V Benfica

Inter are ready to make history and reach their first Champions League semifinal since 2010 as they host Benfica tonight at the San Siro.

The Nerazzurri won the first leg 2-0 away in Lisbon last week with Nicolò Barella and Romelu Lukaku’s goals. Simone Inzaghi can count on three results as they’ll get through either by winning, drawing or losing by one goal.

If they manage to do so, they’ll face city rivals Milan in the semifinals. The good news ends here as Inter are not experiencing a smooth period. They lost 1-0 to Monza in their last league game and that has been their third consecutive loss at San Siro without scoring a goal.

Overall, they’re on a five game winless streak in Serie A and they have won only one of their last six league games.There have been rumors about a potential firing for coach Simone Inzaghi if he fails to get through tonight 

On top of that, in the 15 minutes of yesterday’s training opened to the media, André Onana and Marcelo Brozovic had a verbal altercation that only thanks to the rapid response of Danilo D’Ambrosio and Romelu Lukaku did not escalate in a fight.

Results from their last five matches in all competitions:

Inter

L W D D L

Benfica

L L L W W

Team News

Inter can count on Hakan Calhanoglu after he missed the first leg due to a groin injury. He had been subbed in against Monza last Saturday but he’s not expected to be a starter tonight.

Marcelo Brozovic is likely to retain his spot alongside Nicolò Barella and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in midfield.

Milan Skriniar is sidelined for a back injury and there are major doubts about Stefan de Vrij. It has been reported that he has not fully recovered yet from the ankle problem picked up against Monza.

As for the attack, the big question mark concerns Lautaro Martinez’s partner. Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku are in contention with the Bosnian slight favorite over the Belgian.

Benfica skipper Nicolas Otamendi is back after missing the first leg due suspension.

Goncalo Ramos, who’s been involved in four goals in his last four Champions League appearances for Benfica, will be the lone striker with Neres likely to get a starting spot.

Predicted XIs

Inter (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Dzeko.

Benfica (4-2-3-1): Vlachodimos; Gilberto, António Silva, Otamendi, Grimaldo; Florentino, Aursnes; Joao Mario, Rafa Silva, Neres; Goncalo Ramos.

 

Andrea Agostinelli I GIFN

More European Football News