Nothing less than a win against Shakhtar Donetsk will be enough for Inter as they bid to reach the Champions League Round of 16. The Nerazzurri and Real Madrid were expected to advance, with the Ukrainian outfit and Borussia Monchengladbach battling it out for the Europa League berth, but there is a real possibility both heavyweight sides are eliminated at the first hurdle.
Where and when: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan – 9 December, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Inter vs. Shakhtar Donetsk: BT Sport Extra 2
Last time: The teams played out a goalless draw at the end of October.
Inter v Shakhtar Donetsk Predictions and Preview
Inter kept their European hopes alive with a 3-2 success over Gladbach on Matchday 5. Romelu Lukaku was the hero on the night and the Belgian is likely to be there or thereabouts in the race for the European Golden Shoe, currently held by Ciro Immobile.
The former Manchester United attacker is idolised by the natives, and even if Pep Guardiola formalised his reported interest, there is a belief Lukaku would remain with Antonio Conte. The Inter number 9 is 7/2 to open proceedings, while Lautaro Martinez can be found at 11/2.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Inter to win 2-0||7/1||Offer|
|Robert Gagliardini to score anytime||12/5||Offer|
Conte has much to ponder in midfield and on the flanks with Stefano Sensi, Gagliardini, Christian Eriksen, Marcelo Brozovic and Radja Nainggolan battling to partner the untouchable Nicolo Barella. Ivan Perisic, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian and Achraf Hakimi are vying for the wide roles and the strong substitutes bench may be called in to action after the break.
Darmian has been praised for recent performances and the ex-Red Devils defender offers good solidity down the right. If the Italy international features, Perisic would complement him on the other side as a more offensively minded wing-back.
The 2019-20 treble winner with Bayern Munich is a big game player and is 12/5 to net anytime. Gagliardini is 7/4 in the same market and will have licence to support the frontline. The hosts are 3/10 to pick up all three points.
Visitors Shakhtar completed a historic double over Los Blancos. Luis Castro’s troops proved their first triumph was no fluke and confidence is sky high in camp.
Castro will have to make do without the services of Junior Moraes after the Brazilian born ace suffered a thigh injury during the encounter with Real. Dentinho, who scored after replacing the hitman, is 7/1 to break the deadlock and Donetsk are 17/2 to guarantee a spot in European competition next year.
One to watch for Inter: Alexis Sanchez is battling with Martinez to link up with Lukaku and the Chilean would deserve his inclusion after a string of impressive displays. The versatile forward is 11/2 to bag last.
One to watch for Shakhtar Donetsk: Viktor Kovalenko has a very creditable four strikes from nine appearances from midfield and is 11/2 in the anytime scorer betting.
Long shot: With what is at stake it is likely to be a jittery affair for both dressing rooms. Inter are unplayable on their day, but Donetsk have pedigree of their own and after getting the better of the 13-time victors of the tournament twice, will believe they can beat any opponent. A 2-1 triumph for Shakhtar is 28/1.