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Inter Milan vs Atletico Madrid: preview, team news, how to watch and prediction

Inter Milan are set to take on Atletico Madrid in the first leg of Champions League round of 16 at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Inter Milan are set to take on Atletico Madrid in the first leg of Champions League round of 16 at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Inter have been in tremendous form this season in Serie A as they are currently at the top of the table with 63 points from 24 games, sitting nine points ahead of the second-placed Juventus with a game in hand. So, the Nerazzurri are the favourite to win the Scudetto this season.

They also enjoyed a promising group stage of the Champions League and remained unbeaten. But, they finished second on goal difference and Real Sociedad ended up topping the group.

Simone Inzaghi’s side will be coming into this game after thrashing Salernitana 4-0 in Serie A last time out. So, they will be full of confidence ahead of this encounter.

On the other hand, Atletico Madrid have had a topsy-turvy campaign so far this term, sitting fourth in La Liga with 51 points from 25 games. However, they enjoyed a thumping 5-0 victory over Las Palmas last weekend in La Liga. Having endured back-to-back defeats in all competitions, Saturday’s win will give them a lot of confidence to come away with a positive result from this fixture. So, this is going to be a mouth-watering tie for the football fans.

Previous meetings

These two sides only met back in 2010 in the UEFA Super Cup where Los Rojiblancos won the game by 2-0. So, the Nerazzurri will be looking to take revenge for that defeat in this fixture and give themselves a healthy first-leg lead ahead of the second leg.

How to watch

The match will begin at 8 PM UK time and the game will be televised live on TNT Sports 1 in the UK.

Tickets are likely to be unavailable through the official club channels at this late stage. However, supporters can buy sold out Champions League tickets via trusted resellers such as

Team news

Juan Cuadrado has been sidelined over the last few weeks due to an injury problem and he is not in contention to feature in this fixture as a result of that. Francesco Acerbi was sidelined in the last game due to a calf problem but he could return to action in midweek.

For Atletico Madrid, Alvaro Morata has recently sustained a knee issue, it initially looked like his injury was bad. But, following examination, it showed that he didn’t rupture his anterior cruciate ligament. So, this is good news but he will have to remain sidelined over the coming weeks as a result of his issue.

Apart from the former Real Madrid star, Simeone’s side will be without Cesar Azpilicueta, Thomas Lemar and the new signing Gabriel Paulista for this fixture due to their respective injury problems.

Predicted line-up

Simone Inzaghi is expected to field his team in the 3-5-2 formation with Yann Sommer set to be in goal. Benjamin Pavard, Acerbi and Alessandro Bastoni are likely to be the back three for the hosts, while Denzel Dumfries and Federico Dimarco should be deployed in the wing-back position.

Hakan Calhanoglu could be in the deep-lying playmaker position and on either side of the Turkish international, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nicolo Barella should commence. Lautaro Martínez is set to be paired up with Marcus Thuram to lead the line for Inter in this crucial fixture.

Expected Inter Milan line-up vs Atletico Madrid

Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Mkhitaryan, Calhanoglu, Barella, Dimarco; Martinez, Thuram

For Atletico Madrid, Simeone is also expected to go with the 3-5-2 formation in this fixture. Jan Oblak is guaranteed to be in goal for the visitors and in front of him, Stefan Savic, Axel Witsel and Reinildo should be the back three.

Marcos Llorente could commence in the right-wing-back position, while Samuel Lino might be on the opposite side. Koke is likely to be deployed in the holding midfield position with Saul Niguez and Rodrigo de Paul set to complete the midfield trio. Antoine Griezmann should lead the line for Atletico Madrid and the Frenchman is likely to be paired up with Memphis Depay amid Morata’s absence.

Expected Atletico Madrid line-up vs Inter Milan

Oblak; Savic, Witsel, Reinildo; Llorente, De Paul, Koke, Saul, Lino; Griezmann, Depay

Key players

Martinez has established himself as a talismanic figure for Inter this season and he is now also the club captain. The Argentinian has been enjoying a stellar campaign this term, scoring 23 goals and registering two assists in 30 appearances in all competitions.

So, Inzaghi will be hoping that the South American will be able to help the Nerazzurri win this game by putting his name on the score-sheet.

Thuram has enjoyed a promising start to this season for Inter after moving to the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium last summer. The Frenchman has managed to establish an excellent partnership with Martínez and his pace and trickery could put the opposition defence under a lot of pressure.

Inter’s wing-backs play a key role in stretching the opposite backline and creating opportunities for attackers. So, Dimarco and Dumfries will have to showcase their best on Tuesday to help Inter win this encounter.

Calhanoglu has been playing a key role in Inter’s impressive season so the onus will be on him to continue performing at his best in this crucial fixture to help his team enter the second leg with a lead.

As for Atletico Madrid, Griezmann is the key player for Someone as the Frenchman is the main creative player and also the goal-scorer. So, Inzaghi will have to find a formula to stop the former Barcelona man from displaying his best.

Morata’s absence is a huge loss for Los Rojiblancos as he was in fine form before his injury. But, Depay will have to step up amid the Spaniard’s absence and he was on the score-sheet last time out so that will give him a lot of confidence.

Simeone could deploy a defensive approach for this fixture and in that case the backline and the goalkeeper, Oblak, will have to be at the top of their game to keep the opposition attack at bay and keep a clean-sheet.


Inzaghi’s side will have to take the initiative in this game as they will be keen on coming away victorious in this game ahead of the second leg which will be at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

So, Simeone is expected to take a conservative approach. He might look to keep the defence intact and hurt the opposition on translation, Atletico have quick players such as Llorente and Lino – who would play key roles in conducting the counter-attacks.

Nevertheless, Inter are in great form at the moment and they will be full of confidence ahead of the game. So, they may end up winning this fixture. However, it is going to be interesting to see how the game eventually unfolds on Tuesday night. Inter 2-1 Atletico Madrid

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