Real Madrid aims to win their 14th Champions League title with their journey beginning at San Siro to face Scudetto winners Inter. The Group D clash is a repeat of last season's Champions League group stage game at the venue.
Match Details :
When: Wednesday, September 15/ Thursday, September 16
Timings: 21:00 (local)/ 00:30 (IST)
Where: San Siro, Milan
INT vs RMD Match Preview :
A lot has changed since Inter crowned themselves champions of Serie A with the architect of the impressive campaign, Antonio Conte stepping down from the manager role. Nerazzurri also lost Achraf Hakimi to PSG and talisman Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea to cover up the dire financial state at the club. However, Inter have managed to make some key signings in bringing Edin Dzeko from Roma, Joaquin Correa from Lazio, Denzel Dumfries from PSV and Hakan Calhanoglu on a free transfer from rivals Milan. Simone Inzaghi has now taken the hot seat after an appreciative tenure at Lazio. Inter has made a decent start to their title defense but their opening two games winning run was halted by Sampdoria in the weekend. Inzaghi will be wishing this time Inter perform well on a continental level. A complete opposite of the abysmal group stage exit happened last campaign. No way better than to start against an opposition that beat them twice in the group stage.
Like Inter, things have changed at Real Madrid too. Los Blancos ended in runners-up spot behind champions and arch-rivals Atletico in La Liga last campaign. They also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season losing out to eventual winners Chelsea. The first of those changes came in the form of Zinadine Zidane resigning from the managerial post for the second time in six years. Captain Sergio Ramos ran down his contract and joined PSG in the summer putting an end to his 16 years stay in a trophy-laden career at Real. All hasn't been gloomy at the Spanish capital for the summer arrival of David Alaba from Bayern Munich on a free and the talented midfielder Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes put a smile on their fans. Adding to that, Carlo Ancelloti has returned to the dugout. Madrid has started the new campaign on an unbeaten note despite injuries and issues in the defense giving few bumps on the road. But the Champions League remains their desired target as always.
Recent Form (Last three)
Real Madrid: WWD
INT vs RMD Team News :
Simone Inzaghi confirmed that Alessandro Bastoni will be involved in some way on Wednesday night. The 22-year-old missed out on the Sampdoria game this weekend following an injury he picked up in his international duty with Italy. In his place, Federico Dimarco started in the back three alongside the regular Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar. The personnel in the defense is expected to be unchanged in the Champions League clash in midweek. Dimarco, of course, scored a beautiful free-kick to give Inter the lead in the 2-2 draw against Sampdoria. Other than Bastoni, there is no injury concern for Inzaghi to think about.
For the away side, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Marcelo, Ferland Mendy and Dani Ceballos have been ruled out from the fixture for their respective injuries. However, injury returnees David Alaba and Luka Jovic are part of the traveling squad. The absence of two outright left-backs in the team means Miguel Gutierrez will start for the third successive game. On the back of a stunning 5-2 win over Celta Vigo, the front three of Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr will start again. Benzema scored a hat trick in that win and is just a goal shy of overtaking club legend Raul in the all-time scoring list of the Champions League.
Predicted Lineups :
Inter: Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, De Vrij, Federico Dimarco, Matteo Darmian, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ivan Perisic, Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko
Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, Nacho, Miguel Gutierrez, Federico Valverde, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Head to Head :
These two only met for the first time in the Champions League last season in the group stages. In both the encounters, Real Madrid came on top. The game at the San Siro ended 2-0 with the visitors taking the lead as soon as the seventh minute with Eden Hazard converting the spot-kick he won. Inter were dominated on that day managing only a solitary strike on target and barely 38% possession of the ball. The other goal in the game came from Rodrygo's shot which was turned into his net by Hakimi.
INT vs RMD Dream11 Team :
GK: Courtois (RMD)
DEF: Carvajal (RMD), Skriniar (INT), De Vrij (INT), Gutierrez (RMD)
MID: Barella (INT), Valverde (RMD)
FW: Hazard (RMD), L. Martinez (INT), Vinicius Jr (RMD), Benzema (RMD)
Prediction: Inter 1-2 Real Madrid
Inter have started well under Inzaghi and Real's defensive vulnerability will give them a difficult evening but Carlo Ancelloti's side have what it takes to draw out an important result at San Siro. Even with Lukaku and Hakimi, Inter lost their previous outing against their opposition last time out so the competition experience of Real Madrid will help them.
Stay tuned to our Fantasy Football section for the Dream11 team.