Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan: Preview and Prediction

Atletico Madrid will have to come from a goal behind against Inter Milan to make it to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Serie A leaders Inter Milan are all set to hit the road to face Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie. The Italian giants have a 1-0 advantage from the first leg that was played in their backyard. Now, they will look to ensure they do not suffer a defeat away from home and seal a spot in the next round.

The first leg was played at the iconic San Siro, where the home team dominated the proceedings. They had more of the ball and took more than twice the number of shots on goal than their opposition Atletico Madrid.

Unfortunately, they only have a goal to show for their efforts and this lead is not safe by any means. Diego Simeone’s team are still well and truly alive in this tie. An early goal could do wonders for them but given the recent form of Inter, it won’t be easy to go past them.

Inter Milan are leading the race for the league title. They have a 16-point lead over second-placed AC Milan which pretty much gives us the idea of what kind of dominance they have had this season. Inter have been on a 13-match winning streak across all competitions and they will look to keep it intact against Simeone’s team.

Atletico Madrid have been a bit inconsistent since the start of the season. They are fighting for a place in the top four in La Liga at this stage, and their recent track record is not that great. They have lost three out of their last five games and are heading into this one on the back of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cadiz.

Recent form suggests Inter Milan are out-and-out favourites, but one cannot rule out Atletico Madrid given the kind of stars they have in their ranks. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

Atletico Madrid

The home team could have a huge boost as star man Antoine Griezmann and Jose Gimenez are both expected to be back in the squad for this fixture. But, they will be without the services of Thomas Lemar, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Vitolo.

Simeone will stick to the 3-5-2 formation, where Jan Oblak will be in goal. Even if Gimenez is back fit, they might not risk him from the star. As a result, they could go ahead with a back three of Stefan Savic, Axel Witsel, and Mario Hermoso.

Nahuel Molina and Samuel Lino will be the wing-backs for the home team. The duo will look to help out the back three and ensure they do not concede another. In the centre of the park, they will have Saul Niguez start alongside Rodrigo De Paul and Koke. The trio will look to control the tempo and have the majority of the ball possession.

In attack, Memphis Depay will feature alongside Alvaro Morata. If Griezmann is 100%, he will start but if not, the French World Cup winner will surely make an appearance off the bench as his team looks to come from a goal behind.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Oblak; Savic, Witsel, Hermoso; Molina, Saul, De Paul, Koke, Lino; Depay, Morata

Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan Predicted XI

Inter Milan

The visitors will be without the services of their first-leg hero Marko Arnautovic as he misses out with a hamstring injury. He joins Carlos Augusto, Juan Cuadrado, and Stefan Sensi on the sidelines.

Inter Milan will also line up in a 3-5-2 formation, where Yann Sommer will be in goal. He will have a reliable back three of Benjamin Pavard, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni ahead of him. The trio will look for a clean sheet, and they will have the support of their wing-backs Matteo Darmian and Federico Dimarco as they look to keep it tight at the back.

Hakan Calhanoglu will be the defensive midfielder, who will sit in front of the back three. He will have the support of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nicolo Barella in the centre of the park. The trio will look to ensure they control the tempo of this fixture. In attack, star forward Lautaro Martinez should pair up with Marcus Thuram.

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

Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Inter Milan have won each of their last 13 games across competitions.
  • Atletico Madrid have lost three out of their last five matches in all competitions.
  • The visitors have not won in their last ten trips to Spain in the Champions League.
  • Diego Simeone’s team have failed to make it to the next round in any of their last three knockout ties after losing the first leg.
  • Inter Milan have progressed to the next round on seven out of their last eight occasions where they have won the first leg.

Player to Watch

Nicolo Barella

Embed from Getty Images

Barella has been integral to their success in recent years. The 27-year-old has been ever present in their team this term. But he has not been as effective in the final third as he was last season. He had 19 goal contributions last season, and this time out he only has eight.

The Italian international is yet to register a goal or an assist in this season’s UEFA Champions League. He will be eager to contribute and help his team go one step further than they did last time out.


Atletico Madrid 1-2 Inter Milan

Diego Simeone’s men do have it in them to turn things around. But unfortunately, their recent form suggests that they might struggle against Inter Milan, who have been on a dominating run for a long time.

While history does not favour the Italian club, the kind of football they are playing suggests they will have the upper hand here. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for the visitors, which will see them qualify for the quarter-finals with an aggregate score of 3-1.

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