Inter Milan will aim to put together another run to the final when they take on Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

Inter Milan are enjoying a fine season on the domestic front and will hope to put together another memorable run on the continental stage when they take on Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

This will be the first meeting between both these giants since the 2010 UEFA Super Cup. The Colchoneros came out on top that night, and it promises to be another hard-fought contest between two excellent managers.

Atletico Madrid will have a good recollection of their most recent trip to Italy, surrendering a two goal advantage to Juventus as Cristiano Ronaldo put them to the sword. The Rojiblancos also hold a hundred percent win-rate at San Siro, beating AC Milan both times.

Inter made it to the final of the competition last season, falling to Manchester City in Instanbul. They look formidable once again and will hope to go one better this time around. The convincing win over Salernitana at the weekend, combined with Juventus and AC Milan dropping points, means Inter Milan have a foothold at the summit of the Serie A standings.

Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, are not challenging for the title this season. Diego Simeone’s men prepared for this game with a 5-0 thrashing of La Palmas and will be reasonably confident of stifling Lautaro Martinez and Co. on the night.

Inter Milan have kicked off 2024 with eight straight wins across all competitions and are arguably the most in-form team in Europe. While they did finish as runners up in the group stages, behind Real Sociedad, the Nerazzurri have shown few weaknesses this season.

Atletico will not make it easy with their combative style. Simone Inzaghi has moulded the Italian giants into a formidable unit, and they will be ready for any challenge, especially given their recent success.

It is unlikely to be an open game and more of a chess game between two of Europe’s top managers. Both were teammates for Lazio in their double winning campaign of 1999/2000. There will be no love lost between the duo on the night. The Hard Tackle looks closer at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Inter Milan

The Nerazzurri thrashed Salernitana 4-0 at the weekend, opening up a nine point lead over the chasing pack at the head of the Serie A standings. Simone Inzaghi certainly had an eye on this clash as he rested first choice wing-backs Matteo Darmian and Federico Dimarco at the weekend.

The duo is expected to return in what should be a full-strength Inter playing XI. Davide Frattesi is not yet completely fit but should make the bench while the only other injured star, Juan Cuadrado, was taken off the UEFA Champions League squad ahead of the knockout rounds.

If there is one thing people can be certain of about Inter is that they will retain the 3-5-2 formation come rain or sunshine under Inzaghi. Yann Sommer should start in goal behind the back three of Benjamin Pavard, Francesco Acerbi and Alessandro Bastoni. Matteo Darmian and Federico Dimarco should reprise their roles as wing-backs, with energy to burn following a well-earned rest

Hakan Calhanoglu should hold the fort in the middle of the park, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nicolo Barella pushing forward when needed. Lautaro Martinez will lead the line, with the impressive Marcus Thuram alongside him. Both strikers found the net at the weekend and will hope to catch Atletico Madrid cold.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez

Inter Milan vs Atletico Madrid: Preview and Prediction.

Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone and Co. have not enjoyed the best of seasons domestically and are some distance off the title race for La Liga. However, they have shown better results in cup competitions and are well and alive in the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.

The visitors will be without Gabriel Paulista, Thomas Lemar, and Cesar Azpilicueta. Alvaro Morata was withdrawn against Sevilla with a knee injury, and he is unlikely to be fit in time for star in Italy.

Memphis Depay is striking a rich vein of form at the right time, while Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa found the net at the weekend. Atletico Madrid have reasons to be hopeful that they can come away with a positive result.

The 3-5-2 formation appears to be the way forward for Atletico Madrid on the night. Jan Oblak should start in goal and will be protected by the back three of Stefan Savic, Axel Witsel, and Mario Hermoso. Marcos Llorente and Samuel Lino should provide the width from the wing-back spot.

The trio of Rodrigo De Paul, Koke, and Lucas Barrios should form the midfield trio and will hope to control the pace of the game on the night. Antoine Griezmann will play between the lines as Atletico’s chief creator, while Memphis Depay will come in for Morata.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Oblak; Savic, Witsel, Hermoso; Llorente, Barrios, De Paul, Koke, Lino; Griezmann, Depay

Inter Milan vs Atletico Madrid: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Both teams have faced off against each other just once before. This came in the 2010 UEFA Cup where Atletico Madrid won 2-0.
  • Atletico Madrid have won five of their six clashes against Italian opposition in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds.
  • The last time Inter Milan defeated a Spanish side in the knockout stage, they went on to lift the trophy.
  • Atletico Madrid have a 100 percent win rate at the Giuseppe Meazza/San Siro. However, both have come against AC Milan and not Inter Milan.
  • Atletico Madrid have won just five of their 18 trips to Italy in European competition.
  • Inter Milan have lost just one of their last 13 UEFA Champions League games.

Player to Watch

Lautaro Martinez

Embed from Getty Images

El Toro has now scored 20 or more goals in Serie A for three seasons in a row, just the third person to do so for Inter and the first in 70 years. He has shown no signs of slowing down and continues to go from strength to strength. More so, Martinez has also scored 12 goals for Inter in the UEFA Champions League.

Only Adriano (14) and Julio Cruz (13) have outscored him in Inter colours in the competition. One can count on the Argentine to take the top spot for himself sooner rather than later. Atletico are a solid side whose physicality and defence first policy makes it difficult to breach their rearguard. As long as Martinez is up for the game, Inter Milan can rest easy.


Inter Milan 1-1 Atletico Madrid

With the away goals rule not in effect anymore, the game is likely to be more open than it would have been otherwise. However, Atletico Madrid will be keen to keep things manageable ahead of the second leg and will aim to frustrate Inter Milan. It should prove to be a fascinating battle between two top managers who are likely to settle for a share of the spoils on the night.

Comments 1

  1. Ativi Wisdom says:

    Inter Milan vs Athletico Madrid it will be difficult for inter Milan to overcome on Athletico Madrid today

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