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UEFA Champions League, Round of 16, Leg 1, INT vs POT Preview and Fantasy Prediction

By Real11 - Feb 22 2023 370 Views
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UEFA Champions League

Round of 16, Leg 1, INT vs POT

Preview 

Inter Milan will host Porto at San Siro in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday (February 22). Inter finished second behind Bayern Munich in Group C, while Porto topped Group B ahead of Atletico Madrid, Club Brugge and Bayern Leverkusen. 

The Nerazzuri are enjoying an incredible five game unbeaten run across all competitions and are coming into this match on the back of a 3-1 Serie A home win over Udinese. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring for Inter courtesy a spot kick before Henrikh Mkhitariyan reinstated Inter’s lead. Lautaro Martinez gave them breathing space with a strike in the second half.

Meanwhile, Porto have started 2023 on a commanding note, winning all except one of their games across all competitions. They won their last game by 1-0 against Rio Ave at the Primeira Liga, thanks to a 44th minute Toni Martinez goal. 

 

Form Guide

INT: LWWDWL(Champions League), LWWWDW (all competitions)

POR: LLWWWW (Champions League), WWWWWW (all competitions) 

 

Team News

Inter's coach, Inzaghi, is almost fully equipped with players for their upcoming game against Porto, with the exception of Joaquin Correa who suffered a thigh injury. However, Inzaghi is faced with a dilemma when it comes to selecting his attackers, with Martinez returning and Lukaku possibly edging out Dzeko. Hakan Calhanoglu, Milan Skriniar, and goalkeeper Andre Onana are also expected to return to the starting lineup after being rested over the weekend, meaning Darmian, Mkhitaryan, and veteran goalkeeper Samir Handanovic may be dropped.

On the other hand, Porto's manager Conceicao is dealing with a small injury crisis, with Evanilson, Fabio Cardoso, Gabriel Veron, and Francisco Meixedo expected to miss the match. Mateus Uribe and Galeno's status remains uncertain, and Saturday's match-winner Martinez sustained an injury in the final few minutes of the game. The severity of Martinez's injury is not clear, but Danny Namaso may replace him. In addition, both 39-year-old centre-back Pepe and 25-year-old attacker Pepe are set to start.

 

Probable Starting XIs

INT: Onana; Skriniar, Bastoni, Acerbi; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Brozovic, Dimarco; Lukaku, Martinez

POR: Costa; Mario, Pepe, Carmo, Sanusi; Franco, Eustaquio, Grujic, Pepe; Taremi, Namaso

 

Match Prediction

We predict a hard fought 1-0 victory for Inter Milan. Two of Europe’s tightest rearguards will go against one another on Wednesday. Expect a closely contested clash but Inter just have the edge considering they are playing with a full strength squad. 

 

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