Inter will be looking to book their place in the Champions League knockout phase on Wednesday evening, when the Italian champions welcome Shakhtar Donetsk to San Siro for this Group D clash. The Nerazzurri must win and hope that Real Madrid don’t lose against Sheriff Tiraspol in order to get out of the group stage for the first time since 2012.
Where and when: San Siro – 24 November, kick-off 17:45
Where you can see Inter vs. Shakhtar Donetsk: BT Sport
Last time: Shakhtar Donetsk held Inter to a goalless draw in Kyiv back in September in a game that saw both sides managing only four shots on target in total.
Inter v Shakhtar Predictions and Preview
Inter looked set for another miserable Champions League campaign after failing to score in each of their opening two games and managing just one point. However, The Nerazzurri won both of their games against Sheriff Tiraspol 3-1 and can now book their spot in the knockout stage on Wednesday when they welcome Shakhtar Donetsk to San Siro.
Simone Inzaghi’s men have seven points and are second in the group, as they also drew 0-0 away to Shakhtar in the first leg. Sheriff are third with six points, but the Moldovan side host Real Madrid on Wednesday, which means the Nerazzurri will be through if they beat Roberto De Zerbi’s side and the Spanish giants avoid defeat.
Although Inter are deemed as heavy 1/3 favourites to get three points against Shakhtar, the Nerazzurri have failed to score in each of their last three meetings with the Ukrainians, as all of those games ended 0-0. Both sides shared the same group last year and Inter’s inability to beat Shakhtar in the final round was eventually what cost the Italians qualification for the next phase.
Things seem to be different this term, as despite their slow start, the Nerazzurri have improved steadily, while Shakhtar have been dreadful under De Zerbi and have just one point after four games. The Ukrainians only scored their first goal in the 2-1 defeat away to Real Madrid last time out, so there is no sign of their usual attacking prowess.
All this should give Inter plenty of confidence and Inzaghi will also hope to recover some of their injured stars such as Edin Dzeko, Alexis Sanchez, Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni, who’ve all struggled with injuries recently and are doubts. Either way, on paper La Beneamata have enough depth on the bench to deal with a Shakhtar side that is winless in five consecutive Champions League games.
At the same time, however, De Zerbi’s team are doing really well domestically and currently top the Ukrainian Premier League table alongside Dinamo Kyiv. Shakhtar have 11 wins, two draws and only one defeat after 14 rounds in the league, so the ex-Sassuolo tactician must transfer some of that form to Europe.
Shakhtar have only one point after four rounds in the group, but in theory the Ukrainians can still finish third and even qualify for the next phase if they win both of their remaining games and other results go their way. The visitors know that the pressure will be on Inter and they’ll hold a serious psychological advantage considering they eliminated the Nerazzurri last term.
While at first glance it’s hard to look beyond Inter in this fixture, a fourth consecutive draw between these teams can’t be written off and it can be backed at 4/1. The previous three ended 0-0 and a repeat of that score is available at 20/1, while what would be a shock victory for the visitors is priced at 9/1.
One to watch for Inter: Lautaro Martinez has failed to find the back of the net in seven consecutive games for Inter and the Argentinian is yet to open his account in the Champions League this term. However, with Edin Dzeko and Alexis Sanchez being in doubt for Wednesday, the Argentinian will have to step up and is 15/4 to open the scoring in these Inter v Shakhtar predictions.
One to watch for Shakhtar Donetsk: Brazilian striker Fernando scored Shakhtar’s only goal in the Champions League so far in the 2-1 defeat away to Real Madrid. The 22-year-old has also netted five times in as many appearances in the Ukrainian Premier League, so watch out for him to break the deadlock against the Nerazzurri.
Long shot: Although Inter failed to find the back of the net in their last three clashes with Shakhtar, the Nerazzurri’s last win was a 5-0 thumping in Milan back in 2020. A repeat of that result might seem unlikely this term, but the Ukrainians have been dreadful in Europe so at 33/1 it might be worth a try, while the odds rise to 155/1 if you add Lautaro as the first scorer.