The UEFA Champions League is back again this midweek to complete its final stage of group fixtures before it continues with the selected teams to the knockouts of the prestigious tournament. So far it has produced some scintillating display of football from the teams as well as some really entertaining and breathtaking games. The teams also have been enticing enough and made this version of the UCL one-of-the-best ever in its history.
As we head into the final round of group-stage matches, we have some roller-coaster games waiting there too for us. The first to start will be the clash between a team that has won the UCL for a record number of 13 times with a team that is yet to feature on the UCL’s trophy winners’ list. European giants Real Madrid lock horns with defending Italian champions Inter Milan tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid, who are currently placed top of the league table is on a roll this season since the takeover by Ancelotti. They have been flying high and ever impressive in the league as well as UCL. The shock defeat to Sheriff brought about many changes in the squad and Madrid has lost only once since then. No wonder they would be looking to win this encounter to progress to the knockouts as-well-as finish on top. A draw would also see them through to the round-of-16s and make them the group toppers.
InterMilan, on the other hand, has picked up some sensational form of late after a slow start to their SerieA campaign. Simone Inzaghi’s side has picked up some crucial wins against the big boys of Serie A. They now find themselves just one point behind league leaders and next-door neighbors AC Milan. In the UCL though, they are placed second in the group and need a win vs Real to go group-top. Inter’s capability to perform in big games might give them an edge but those petty things really don’t matter.
Let’s see which side gets the better of the other in this evenly matched contest between the two teams.
WHY TO WATCH OUT FOR
The rivalry between two of the best sides in Europe will definitely be a soothing balm to watch out for. Inter are the defending champions of Italy and Real are the 2019-20 La Liga champions. So when two domestic champions clash with each other, it is sure to produce enough elements of excitement and engrossment init. The UCL is the only tournament where you can watch the best teams going head-to-head against each other. This competition makes our midweek full of action-packed games and doesn’t let its viewers get bored. And when Inter and Madrid are going up, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t watch this fixture. The recent form of the two sides makes this game more interesting and fascinating. In fact, football fans will really find this match interesting to watch. The match gets kicked off at 1;30 A.M. IST
The Los Blancos are coming onto this match on the back of a strong convincing 2-0 win over Real Sociedad. Without the services of Benzema, Madrid still managed to win the game dominantly. After a poor display in the first half, the Blancos returned back strongly and passionately as well. A rejuvenated Luka Jovic was adjudged the man-of-the-game for his excellent performances. The Whites first went up in the 47thmin just after half-time thanks to a brilliant Vinicius strike. Moments after, Jovic made it 2-0 with a superb poacher-instinct-like header. They controlled the game more or less with 48% possession of the ball and 13 shots towards the opposition goal. Undoubtedly, it was one of the best second-half displays and one of the greatest comebacks wins ever recorded for RM.
Eder Militao’s awesome performance in the defense also grabbed the headlines in this match. Ancelotti, though has to sort out a few problems like man-marking, decision making in the final third, and as such. It can be easily hoped that Ancelotti will easily fix out these before a big Inter game. They have to raise their game still to come out on top versus strong teams like Inter TONIGHT. Madrid is on a six-game winning streak and they would definitely want to continue it when they face Inter tonight.
The Nerazzurri’s are traveling to the Spanish capital after capping off a wonderful night at the STADIO OLIMPICO this weekend. They thrashed the Roma giants to a humiliating 0-3 defeat and overtook Napoli to go on second. Calhanoglu, Dzeko, and Dumfries all scored in the first half to steer their stride to a win. It was an absolutely dominating and ruthless mesmerizing performance from the Blues and blacks. With almost two-thirds of the possession and having played twice as many passes as Roma, inter was literally unstoppable.
Inzaghi’s side is the second-best defensive action in Serie A with only 15 goals conceded. They need their defense to be at their level best if they are to contain a free-scoring Madrid attack. In the last five games in SerieA, they have won four and lost five. They are on an 8-match unbeaten streak overall with no defeats since the 1-3 humiliation against Lazio. It remains to be seen whether Inter can beat a depleted Madrid team this time around.
HEAD TO HEAD
Real Madrid and Inter have met each other six times only in the European circuit till now. Real have clear domination in this faceoff with 5 wins and 1 draw. Inter have won none of the games.
In the most recent game between these two, Madrid grasped a last-gasp victory courtesy of a Rodrygo late winner. Inter will definitely have their redemption when they get to play Madrid tonight at the Bernabeu.
The biggest injury concern for Madrid will be the unavailability of their star captain and prolific goalscorer Karim Benzema. Benzema suffered a muscle injury and will sit out of the clash. Gareth Bale (knee) and Dani Ceballos (ankle) are long-term absentees. Apart from these few, Ancelotti has a fit squad to choose his starting XI from. With a very important Madrid derby coming up on the weekend, we can expect a host of rotations to take place.
The Nerazzurri’s also have a few injury cases that will rattle them ahead of the clash with Madrid
Injured:- MATTEO DAMIAN, Joaquin Correa, Aleksandar Kolarov, Andrea Ranocchia, Matteo Darmian, Stefan de Vrij, and Christian Eriksen.
Players to watch out for
The German is the undisputed star of Madrid’s three-man midfield. He, along with Casemiro and Modric form a deadly trio that is a nightmare for opposition teams. His ability to take full authority of the midfield and control it totally is awesome. The German’s creativity and innovative passing is invaluable asset to his side. He is a match-winner with the ball at his feet, from helping in defence to building up attacks. As a midfielder, he has 2 goals and 2 assists in 13 games. No wonder Ancelotti will depend upon him to deliver a good performance in such a high-voltage game.
The Brazilian has turned out to be the poster boy of the Madrid-based club within the space of a few months. His impeccable dribbling and on-field creativity make him an invaluable gem for the side. His sky-rocketing stats are a testimony of what kind of form Vinicius Junior is in. Having 12 goals and 5 assists in only 21 appearances is nothing short of a miracle. His tracking back and helping the defense have earned praise from many pundits. Against Inter, he will once again be the main man to break down inter’s defense and create goalscoring chances.
The former Roma striker has only joined Inter in the summer transfer window after Lukaku’s departure. Since then, he has been a revelation for the Milan-based giants. He has already scored 11 goals and 2 assists in only 16 starts are impressive. Dzeko’s heading abilities and shooting skills are excellent as well as his down-the-middle runs. A leaky Madrid defense will be a favorite target for a striker of his caliber. Inzaghi would definitely hope that his star man comes provides the goals upfront.
The Turkish midfielder arrived at Inter from arch-rivals Milan only in this summer transfer window for free. He has settled well at his new club scoring 5 goals and 4 assists in much fewer games. Hakan is one of Inzaghi’s dependable men to create a play for his side in the attacking third. He plays in a 3-5-2 midfield but is a secret ball Carrier for his side. His floating tendency makes it difficult for oppositions to track him down. Calhanoglû’s presence in the midfield is a big boost for his side who almost depends upon him to build-up plays. Calhanoglu would certainly hope to dish out a wonderful show against Madrid tonight to establish himself on the European stage.
The match is going to be an enthralling and eventful one for the viewers in all respects. Madrid would be desperate to finish as the group toppers and progress to the next round. Inter Milan also would look to overtake Madrid and be the group leader with a win over the Blancos. Expect a fierce encounter to unfold on this magical night at the Santiago Bernabeu!!
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