Manchester City vs Inter Milan: Champions League 2023 preview, prediction, lineups

In a bid to replicate Liverpool’s remarkable victory in Istanbul 18 years ago, . The highly-anticipated clash between these two European giants will take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, marking their first competitive meeting.

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As they enter the final, their domestic performances have been contrasting, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City adding two more trophies to their collection in English football, while Inter Milan’s title challenge in Serie A was relatively short-lived. Manchester City secured their place in the final by defeating reigning champions Real Madrid 5-1 on aggregate over two legs in the semi-finals.

On the other hand, Inter Milan earned local bragging rights by triumphing over their San Siro neighbors, AC Milan, with a 3-0 aggregate victory.

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Manchester City vs Inter Milan match preview

Pep Guardiola, having added more silverware to his collection with another Premier League title and FA Cup victory in the 2022-23 season, has established an impressive domestic record at Manchester City. However, he has yet to achieve the coveted continental glory since leaving Barcelona. Despite coming close in recent years, reaching the quarter-finals had been Guardiola’s best performance in the Champions League until the 2020-21 campaign.

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Manchester City’s success continued this season as they defended their Premier League title with 89 points, fending off a lackluster challenge from Arsenal. They also secured their second FA Cup under Guardiola, defeating their bitter rivals Manchester United. While their performances at the Etihad Stadium were remarkable, their away form has been less consistent, with only three wins from their last seven games outside their home ground. Nevertheless, recent failures against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford are unlikely to concern the Citizens’ supporters in light of their impressive Champions League displays.

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Having scored in each of their last seven Champions League matches, Manchester City could become the fourth English team to lift the trophy in the current format. Inter Milan, their opponents in the final, have also experienced success in the competition, having won it twice in the past. However, it has been 13 seasons since their last triumph under Jose Mourinho in 2010. Inter will rely on their attacking duo of Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko to lead their quest for a seventh continental title, while also boasting three UEFA Cup victories from the 1990s.

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While Manchester City is known for their goal-scoring prowess, Inter Milan’s solid defense has kept five clean sheets in their six Champions League knockout matches in the 2022-23 season. Their only defensive lapse came in a 3-3 draw against Benfica in the quarter-finals. Only Arsenal, the 2005-06 finalists, have recorded six clean sheets in Champions League knockout matches.

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As they enter the final, Inter Milan becomes the fourth team to reach this stage after losing their opening match of the tournament, following the footsteps of Milan in 1994-95, Bayern Munich in 1998-99, and Tottenham in the 2018-19 season. However, all three previous teams ended up as runners-up, and Inter will join that group unless they can overcome Manchester City and prevent their European disappointment from continuing.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:

Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:

Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Martinez, Dzeko

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Manchester City vs Inter Milan prediction

A UEFA Champions League 2023 final between Manchester City and Inter Milan in Istanbul promises to be a classic encounter between attack and defence. City have been exceptional at winning the ball back high up the field, surpassing all other teams in the Champions League 2023.

Inter Milan’s counter-attacks are known to be highly effective. Their recent goal-scoring form adds to their chances of breaking City’s defence. However, it will be a daunting task for Inter to contain their English opponents’ formidable attacking lineup.

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While Inter Milan has demonstrated defensive solidity in European competitions before, Manchester City possesses the attacking prowess needed to achieve success on the European stage. Joining local rivals Manchester United in the exclusive club of treble winners could become a reality for City if they overcome Inter’s challenge.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Inter Milan

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Date, kick-off time, venue

Manchester City and Inter Milan will play their Champions League 2023 final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium at 8pm BST (Saturday) June 10, 2023 and 12:30 am IST (Sunday).

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