Group B: Inter Milan vs Real Madrid
UEFA Champions League
Date: Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Location: Vodafone Park (Istanbul)
Kick-off: 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Inter Milan and Real Madrid are expected to occupy the top two slots in the group after six games and progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
With Sheriff Tiraspol and Shakhtar Donetsk making up the pool, it’s possible the winner of the group will emerge from this match.
Which team will draw first blood and hit the top at the earliest opportunity, grabbing the advantage? Will it be the champions of Italian football or the competition’s most successful team? It will come as no surprise to football fans that Inter Milan and Real Madrid are no strangers to each other and have met many times in the past at the highest level.
The pair have faced off 11 times in the past, and the stats are dead even with five wins for Inter Milan, five for Real Madrid and the spare ending up as a draw.
The most recent clash produced a 2-0 victory for Blancos at this venue in November 2020, with the goals scored by Eden Hazard and an unfortunate own goal from Achraf Hakimi on the hour.
Inter Milan vs Real Madrid Head-to-head
- Inter Milan are slightly ahead in the head-to-head record versus Real Madrid with 8 wins from 17 games alongside 2 draws and 7 losses.
- Last season, Real won both legs at the group stage, 2-0 in Italy and 3-2 in Spain.
- Real’s 2-0 win here last season is their first away win against Inter Milan, having drawn 2 and lost 5 of the previous 7.
- The Nerazzurri have a strong home record against Spanish La Liga clubs having won 10 of the 22 duels at this ground, drawn 9 and lost just 3.
- Meantime, Real as a visiting team managed to win 10 of their 38 matches played in Italian soil. They drew 8 and lost 18 during the period.
Inter Milan vs Real Madrid Prediction
For the second season in succession, Internazionale and Real Madrid find themselves paired together in the Group Stage.
That was a competition Internazionale will want to forget having finished bottom of the group, whilst Real Madrid topped the group and recorded two victories over the Italians in the process.
The two lock horns once again in 2021-22 with Internazionale having since lost striker Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea.
Real Madrid meanwhile, no longer have long-serving centre-back Sergio Ramos, but have replaced him with another former Champions League winner in David Alaba.
The two sides have each only managed to accrue one clean sheet so far this season and they are both likely to prioritise attack over defence here in a bid to their European campaign off to the best possible start. Therefore, back both teams to score at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Inter Milan vs Real Madrid team news
Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni is a doubt for Wednesday’s match with a thigh injury, which he picked up on international duty with Italy earlier this month.
Dimarco is therefore set to start again in the back three alongside Stefan De Vrij and Milan Skriniar, with Matteo Darmian and Ivan Perisic expected to remain in their roles as wing-backs.
Inzaghi is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup that played against Sampdoria, so central midfield trio Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Hakan Calhanoglu are all set to keep their places in the side.
Experienced striker Edin Dzeko is expected to lead the line in attack alongside Argentina international Martinez, though the latter’s compatriot Joaquin Correa will also be pushing for a place in the first XI.
As for Real Madrid, Ancelotti could be without up to seven first-team players in midweek, including Gareth Bale, David Alaba, Toni Kroos and Luka Jovic, who all missed Sunday’s win against Celta Vigo.
Bale (hamstring), Alaba (muscle overload), Kroos (groin) and Jovic (gastroenteritis) will all be assessed ahead of kickoff, though all four are unlikely to feature in Italy.
Left-back Ferland Mendy and midfielder Dani Ceballos – who have yet to play for Los Blancos so far this season – are two players who are unavailable for selection, as the pair are suffering with respective leg and ankle injuries.
Ancelotti will also be without experienced left-back Marcelo, who suffered a muscle injury in training on Monday, so 20-year-old Miguel Gutierrez is set to start for the third successive game.
Benzema, who needs just one more goal to move ahead of club legend Raul into outright fourth place on the all-time list of goalscorers in Champions League history, is expected to lead the line in attack and could be joined once again by wingers Eden Hazard and Vinicius Junior.
Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Dimarco; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Gutierrez; Valverde, Casemiro, Modric; Hazard, Benzema, Vinicius Jr