Inter Milan welcomes Liverpool to the San Siro on Wednesday night in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. The hosts finished second in their group behind Real Madrid whilst Liverpool won all six of their matches in the group stage. Inter sit second in Serie A with a game in hand and have been free-scoring this term under Simone Inzaghi.
Inter has had a brilliant season so far under Inzaghi, who has seamlessly replaced Antonio Conte by playing the same shape and only adding smaller, smart tactical changes. After losing to his former club Lazio in October, Inter had a run of 11 wins and three draws in 14 Serie A matches.
In recent weeks, with some tough fixtures and a congested schedule, the side has suffered a slight dip. They drew 0-0 at Atalanta and lost 2-1 to AC Milan before responding to beat Roma 2-0 at home in the Coppa Italia. Their last match saw a 1-1 draw at Napoli as Edin Dzeko equalised in the first half.
Inter Team News
Inter are without January signing Robin Gosens at left wingback due to injury. Joaquin Correa is absent upfront. The big blow is the suspension of Nicolo Barella in central midfield after a red card in the group stage. Arturo Vidal is set to replace him.
Alessandro Bastoni will start having been suspended for Inter’s draw with Napoli over the weekend. Federico Dimarco will drop to the bench. Lautaro Martinz will partner Edin Dzeko with Alexis Sanchez on the bench.
Inter will know the importance of winning this home match with a daunting second leg at Anfield. Anything less than a victory would be a poor result now that the away goals rule has been taken away. Previously, a 0-0 home draw would have been an okay result.
Inter will go all out for victory and won’t settle for a draw at any stage.
The Reds have been in great form of late. After dominating but losing 1-0 to Leicester in late December, they then threw away a 2-0 lead at Chelsea and drew 2-2. Their next eight matches have produced seven wins with just a 0-0 draw against ten-man Arsenal in the Carabao Cup as a match they didn’t win.
After beating Arsenal 2-0 in the second leg of the Carabao Cup, they beat Crystal Palace (3-1) and Leicester (2-0) with relative ease in the Premier League. Their last match was tough but they took a 1-0 victory at Burnley with Fabinho scoring the only goal.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool has a fully fit squad available for this match. The only doubt was Jordan Henderson but he looks likely to be available after recovering from a knock. Even Luis Diaz can play despite featuring for Porto in the group stages of this competition this season.
Klopp will likely go with Diogo Jota in preference to Roberto Firmino assuming he has recovered from his dead leg. Henderson should start if fit but the midfield has plenty of other options including fit-again Harvey Elliott.
Klopp will play to win this match. Away goals no longer apply so a score draw is not much different from a 0-0 draw. Liverpool will attack and play to win the first leg before bringing Inter back to Anfield.
With Firmino and Diaz as subs, the Reds will have very good options to turn the match if trailing in the second half.
Inter have lost just 3 of their last 30 home matches (all comps)
Inter have lost 3 of their last 7 home CL matches
Inter have conceded in 7 of their last 9 CL matches
Liverpool have won their last 6 CL matches
Liverpool have won their last 6 matches (all comps)
LFC have won 6 of their last 8 away CL matches (20 goals scored)
Liverpool is the better side here. They showed the gulf in class between Serie A and the Premier League but beat AC Milan away in the group stage with a second-string team. The Reds should have enough to win this match outright.
Best Bet: Liverpool win at 2.05
Multiplier Leg: Liverpool/Draw double chance + over 1.5 goals at 1.66
Value Bet: Liverpool to win and over 2.5 goals at 3.15
Goalscorer Tip: Salah anytime goalscorer at 2.30
Correct Score Tip: Inter 1-3 Liverpool at 14.00
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