When: February 16, Wednesday
Where: Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
The big derby of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 takes place in Italy, where Inter Milan hosts Liverpool. These two sides are in solid shape lately and like to play open and offensive-minded football. That promises a thrilling matchup on Wednesday. There aren’t too many calculations with Simone Inzaghi and Jurgen Klopp. Both of these guys want their team to score as many goals as possible and to impose its own rhythm and pace on the pitch.
Inter Milan vs. Liverpool Preview
Nerazzurri are atop the Serie A but have not been able to win in two of the past three games. It reduced their lead in the standings, but still, Inzaghi’s unit feels safe even though several teams are bidding to jump over them.
Inter’s main strength is the attack, with Lautaro, Dzeko, Sanchez, and the rest of the forwards terrorizing the rivals this year. There haven’t been too many games in which Inter didn’t score at least twice, especially at home in Milan. For instance, five of the last six at Meazza concluded like that.
We also need to say that the defensive line often allows goals. Just one contest in the previous five didn’t end with both teams netting, and that is the story throughout the entire campaign. Inzaghi likes playing open football, and all this is a consequence of his philosophy.
The Reds got back Mane and Salah, who already played this weekend in Burnley, leading their team to a minimal, but important 0-1, win. That was the sixth consecutive for Klopp’s crew, who kept four clean sheets throughout that stretch. Again, we see Van Dijk’s importance, and as soon as the Dutchman hits his best form, Liverpool’s defense is impenetrable.
We’ve seen the Reds posting more efficient games on the road than at Anfield this year. Liverpool scored two or more goals in 11 of the last 14 road trips, which backs up our claim.
Both Salah and Mane looked well against Burnley, and we didn’t see them experiencing some trouble due to the fatigue. There were some concerns about their fitness after a hard campaign at the African Cup of Nations, where both Egypt and Senegal reached the finals.
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Inter Milan vs. Liverpool Possible Lineups
Inter Milan: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, D’Ambrosio; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Jota, Diaz
Inter Milan vs. Liverpool Head to Head
We haven’t seen these two sides one against another for a long time. The most recent game was in the 2008 UCL round of 16. Liverpool won in both games, beating Nerazzuri at home 2-0 and 0-1 in Italy.
Inter Milan vs. Liverpool Prediction
Inter is very aggressive at home, and be sure that regardless of Liverpool’s reputation, Nerazzurri will attack and try to score several goals. Of course, the Reds will accept such a style of play, and that opens the possibility of seeing a high-scoring affair. That’s why our pick here is over 2.5 goals.
Our verdict: Over 2.5 goals.