Inter and Real Madrid kick off their Champions League campaign with what promises to be a mouthwatering clash at San Siro on Wednesday. The two giants were drawn alongside Shakhtar Donetsk for a second consecutive year, but this time Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol replace Borussia Monchengladbach to complete an intriguing Group D.
Where and when: San Siro – 15 September, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Inter Milan vs. Real Madrid: BT Sport
Last time: Eden Hazard opened the scoring from the spot in the 2-0 victory that Real Madrid earned at San Siro in a Champions League Group B clash between these teams last term. Achraf Hakimi’s own goal completed the scoring in what was a miserable night for the Nerazzurri.
Inter Milan v Real Madrid Predictions and Preview
Inter must feel that faith has given them a chance for redemption after the Nerazzurri were paired with two of the three teams from their last Champions League campaign. Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Monchengladbach were also in Group B, with the Italians failing miserably and finishing rock bottom.
This term the Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol step into Group D to make their debut instead of Borussia, so the draw seems a bit easier for Inter at least on paper. However, despite winning the Scudetto last season, the Nerazzurri were embarrassed after their early Champions League exit, so they need to do much better this term.
Despite losing Antoio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, the Beneamata started their Serie A campaign in a dominant fashion. Two victories over Genoa and Verona and a goal difference of 7:1 see Inter sit top of the table after the first two rounds.
Simone Inzaghi appears to have settled effortlessly at the bench, while new signings Edin Dzeko, Hakan Calhanoglu and Joaquin Correa already contributed four goals and three assists between them. While Inzaghi doesn’t have significant Champions League experience, he still managed to go past the group stage with Lazio last term, so everybody expects him to improve the team’s European displays.
However, facing Real Madrid in their opener might prove to be an uphill task for Inter, especially considering that they lost both of their games against the Spanish giants last term. In fact, the Nerazzurri have lost their last three meetings with Real, conceding at least twice in each of those games. Inter’s last victory over Los Blancos was in a pre-season tournament back in 2014 and it was on penalties after the game ended 1-1 in regular time with Mauro Icardi equalising for the Italians.
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Over 2.5 goals
Real Madrid to win
Real Madrid to win 3-2
Similarly to Inter, Real Madrid are also starting a new era, as Carlo Ancelotti replaced Zinedine Zidane in the summer, while Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane also departed. David Alaba arrived on a free transfer from Bayern Munich, but the defence appears to be an issue for Ancelotti even with the Austrian as Los Blancos conceded four goals in the first three La Liga games that they played this term.
Real Madrid won two and drew 3-3 against Levante at the start of their domestic campaign and while things aren’t looking rosy at the back, scoring goals doesn’t appear to be a problem for them. From eight goals in total, Vinicius Junior has already netted three times, Karim Benzema twice, while even Gareth Bale found the back of the net once. The Welshman is expected to feature regularly under Ancelotti this term, especially with Eden Hazard still appearing to be far from his best form.
Midfield maestro Toni Kross is injured and is not expected to travel to Milan, while Dani Ceballos remains a doubt.
Real Madrid won their last six away games against Italian sides, with their last defeat dating back from 2015 – a 2-1 loss in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Juventus.
Inter’s poor record against Real Madrid in recent years puts the Nerazzurri at 6/4 with William Hill to get the three points on Wednesday. The draw is priced at 12/5, while a victory for Los Blancos can be backed at 9/5.
One to watch for Inter: Edin Dzeko managed only seven Serie A goals last term. The towering Bosnian has the uphill task of replacing Lukaku and while he is unlikely to reach the Belgian’s figures, he will be the focal point of Inter’s attack. Dzeko netted five times in six Champions League games the last time he played in the competition with Roma and is 7/2 to score the opener against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Karim Benzema has been the main figure in attack for Real Madrid ever since Cristiano Ronaldo departed and it seems that the Frenchman will once again be the key man for the Spanish giants. Benzema already has two goals in La Liga this term, while he also netted twice in the 3-2 victory over Inter at Santiago Bernabeu last season, so at 3/1 he is the main favourite to break the deadlock.
Long shot: Real Madrid scored three goals against Inter in two of the last three meetings between them. Last year’s clash at the Bernabeu ended in a 3-2 victory for Los Blancos and in spite of the fact that Wednesday’s game will take place in Italy a repeat of that result can’t be ruled out. A 3-2 victory for Real Madrid is available at 35/1, while if you are looking for even bigger odds you can pair this with Karim Benzema to score anytime.