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UEFA Champions League preview: Inter vs Real Madrid

Inter are scheduled to host Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League clash at San Siro.

The Nerazzurri have experienced a tough European campaign and they are presently bottom of Group B with just two points after three matches played.

They have the chance to turn things around in the final three games, particularly with only three points separating them from leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Their recent Champions League meeting came against Real Madrid on the road before the international break where they were beaten by a 3-2 scoreline.

Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos put Los Blancos two goals ahead, but the Nerazzurri made a terrific comeback through Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic to level the scores in the 68th minute.

However, they eventually came up with nothing from the contest as Rodrygo came off the bench to score an 80th-minute winner for the 13-time European champions.

As a result, Los Blancos leapfrogged the Nerazzurri in the standings and they are presently third with four points, only goal difference behind Shakhtar Donetsk, who have been the surprise package.

Antonio Conte’s side will go into tomorrow’s game on the back of a 4-2 comeback win over Torino in the Serie A from two goals behind. The victory ended a two-match winless league streak, but are still five points adrift of rivals AC Milan, who are top of the table.

Los Blancos, on the other hand, have been in a poor run of form since the victory over the Nerazzurri. They have picked up just one point from recent trips to Valencia and Villarreal and that sees them six points behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand.

Key Stats:

There have been 16 meetings between the clubs in history and it has been a even contest with seven wins apiece.

The clash on Matchday 3 was the first occasion that the teams had met in any competition since the 1998/99 group stage campaign.

Lukaku scored in nine straight European games for Inter (11 goals) before drawing blank in the 0-0 draw versus Shakhtar Donetsk last month.

Lukaku and Karim Benzema are the top scorers for Inter and Real Madrid in the competition with two goals apiece this term.

The former was, however, absent for the clash at the Bernabeu earlier this month as he was nursing an adductor injury.

Team News:


Aleksandar Kolarov, Marcelo Brozovic and Daniele Padelli are definite absentees for the game as they are in self-isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Matias Vecino remains a long-term absentee with a knee injury while Stefano Sensi is also sidelined with a thigh problem suffered nearly a month ago.

Conte is likely to make changes at the heart of the backline and Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar could replace Danilo D’Ambrosio and Andrea Ranocchia in the back three to partner Alessandro Bastoni.

There could be another change in the left wing-back position with Ivan Perisic replacing Ashley Young. Alexis Sanchez should make way for Lautaro Martinez upfront.

Real Madrid:

The Spanish champions have a number of key players, who are out injured. Talismanic captain Sergio Ramos has been ruled out with a muscle problem while Benzema (adductor) and Federico Valverde (shin) are also ruled out.

Luka Jovic and Eder Militao are absent after testing positive for the coronavirus, but Casemiro has been passed fit for the clash after producing a negative result in the latest PCR test.

In the absence of Militao and Ramos, utility player Nacho should continue in the central defence alongside Raphael Varane. Mariano is set to make his first Champions League appearance since the 2018/19 campaign.

Marco Asensio should replace Lucas Vazquez in the attack while Martin Odegaard could make way for the return of Casemiro, who may be accompanied by Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the midfield.

Predicted Lineups:

Inter (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Achraf Hakimi, Nicolo Barella, Arturo Vidal, Roberto Gagliardini, Ivan Perisic; Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Eden Hazard, Mariano, Marco Asensio

Predicted Score:

The visitors have been handed a huge blow ahead of the contest with defender Ramos and striker Benzema unable to recover from their respective injuries. The Nerazzurri have the perfect opportunity to exploit any defensive flaws from Los Blancos in the absence of their inspirational leader. We are fancying them to finish on the winning side this time around.

Inter 2-1 Real Madrid

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