Inter’s Champions League future will be on the line as they host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Giuseppe Meazza. Group B is ever so poised with all four teams able to progress or be eliminated during this round.
Inter will need a win though, and will then go through if there is a winner in the game between Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Shakhtar will qualify if they beat Inter or if both games finish with a draw.
Inter finally managed to prevail in a Champions League match during their fifth attempt last week. It was not a convincing victory for Antonio Conte’s men nonetheless.
Statistics & Encounters
Both teams have met only four times, with Shakhtar yet to defeat Inter. The pair played out a 0-0 draw in their previous group stage game in October, with Inter unlucky not to win.
Inter hammered Shakhtar 5-0 in August during the Europe League semifinals.
Inter form guide: W-L-W-W-W
Shakhtar form guide: D-L-W-W-W
Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are in fine form. The Belgian has 4 goals in 4 matches while the latter has 6 goals in all competitions this season.
Suspensions and Team News
Arturo Vidal will return to the lineup following his suspension. The Chilean will likely replace Roberto Gagliardini in the midfield.
Barella was absent from the team’s practice session ahead of the game but the media suggest that Inter is doing everything they can to get him ready for the match.
Aleksandr Kolarov has recovered from COVID-19 but due to lack of match fitness will not feature in this game.
Matias Vecino, Andrea Pinamonti, and Radja Nainggolan ruled out due to injury.
Stefano Sensi’s curious case is a mystery for everyone. His current status is unknown.
Shakhtar’s injury list: Yevhen Konoplyanka, Maksym Malyshev, Ismaily, and Viktor Kornienko
They might also be without star forward Junior Moraes, who limped off against Real Madrid and did not feature on the weekend.
Inter (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Vidal, Barella, Brozovic, Young; Martinez, Lukaku
Shakhtar (4-2-3-1): Anatoli Trubin (GK); Bolbat, Vitao, Bondar, Mykola Matviyenko; Kovalenko, Stepanenko; Tete, Marlos, Taison; Fernando
Note: If Barella misses out, Gagliardini will likely take his place in the starting XI.
We have seen that Inter is capable of turning up when it matters most. While this match will be a hotly-contested battle, Inter will do just enough to come out on top. All while hoping that the result of the Madrid-Monchengladbach clash goes their way.