On Wednesday night, Inter Milan will have an advantageous position in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Benfica. Their impressive performance in the first leg resulted in a 2-0 victory, with Nico Barella and Romelu Lukaku scoring goals. The Italian team will now strive to finish the job in front of their own supporters, while Benfica faces a daunting task in their attempt to progress to the final four of the tournament.
Despite Inter’s recent 1-0 loss to Monza in Serie A, and Benfica’s three straight defeats in all competitions, the upcoming match will be a crucial one.
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Inter Milan-Benfica preview
Inter Milan will believe they can advance to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, something they haven’t done since their victory in the 2009-10 tournament led by José Mourinho. If they make it, Simone Inzaghi could become the first Italian coach to take Inter to the semi-finals of the competition since Eugenio Bersellini in 1980-81.
On the other hand, Benfica needs to achieve something they’ve never done before to have any chance of making it to the final four of the UCL this season: defeat Inter. Benfica has never defeated Inter in any of their four previous competitive European matches, losing three and drawing one of them, and have failed to score in three of those matches.
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Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Brozovic, Dimarco; Dzeko, Martinez
Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Gilberto, A. Silva, Otamendi, Grimaldo; Florentino, Aursnes; Neres, R. Silva, Mario; Ramos
Inter Milan and Benfica have faced each other 5 times, with the former winning 2 of those matches and 3 ending in a draw.
Inter Milan wins: 2
Benfica wins: 0
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Inter Milan-Benfica prediction
Inter Milan’s defense, which has traditionally been focused on keeping clean sheets, will face significant challenges in this match due to injuries to key players.
Schmidt’s Benfica side will most likely push forward aggressively to try to keep their hopes of advancing in the competition alive, and will probably score at least one goal. The return of Otamendi to Benfica’s lineup will also add more defensive stability to their team, which has a history of performing well in European away matches.
However, both teams’ morale is currently low, with Inzaghi’s Inter being no exception. Despite this, Inter’s expertise in cup matches could lead to a low-scoring draw, which would set up an all-Italian semi-final with Napoli or Milan.
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Prediction: Inter Milan 1-1 Benfica
Date, kick-off time, venue
Inter Milan and Benfica’s Champions League match will be played on April 20. The kick off will take place at 12.30 am (IST) at San Siro in Milan.