Inter Milan to draw first blood

Inter Milan to draw first blood

Inter Milan and SL Benfica will meet for the first leg of their quarter-finals series in the Champions League, aiming to take an advantage. When it comes to their domestic leagues, these two teams are also doing better. Benfica is sitting at the top of the Primeira League, while Inter is at the fifth of the Serie A. Benfica qualified for the quarter-finals in successive years, but for Inter, this will be their first time in eight years to reach the quarter-finals. This meeting will be on April 12, 2023, at 3:00 AM (GMT+8), as Benfica welcomes Inter.

These two teams already met for four matches prior to this game, and it was the visitors who recorded an excellent record. The hosts remains to be winless against the visitors, who won three matches, while the remaining match ended in a draw. Furthermore, these two teams only had one meeting in the European Cup back in 1965. That time, it was the visitors who took home the victory, in a 1-0 score line. The hosts are now looking to record five wins in the Champions League for the first time since their 1989-90 campaign. As for the visitors, they gain confidence by the fact that they entered this match from a hard-earned win against Porto in the Round of 16.

Inter Milan

Champions League: Inter Milan
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Considering the performance of Inter in the Serie A, they are still fortunate to reach this far in the Champions League. Domestically, they are at the fifth in the Serie A, as they failed to be at their best this season. On their previous match domestically, they ended that match in a 1-1 draw against Salernitana. They gain confidence from the fact that they still qualified in the quarter-finals, despite being outplayed by Porto. However, they need to address their issues, especially their inconsistencies in order to advance to the next round. They are looking to make amends in this quarter-finals series, as this is the first time in years they qualify for this round. They are aiming to take it up a notch for this match in order to qualify for the next round.

Milan Skriniar and Hakan Calhanoglu are both a doubt in this match, as both got injured during their international break. Fortunately, Federico Dimarco is expected to return at left wing-back for Inter.

SL Benfica

Champions League: SL Benfica

Benfica’s qualification for the quarter-finals in the Champions League is no longer a surprise, as they are a team who have been excellent this season. They are actually at the top of their domestic league right now. This qualification this season is their second successive season to qualify in the next round of the Champions League. Unfortunately, they suffered a 2-1 loss against FC Porto domestically on their last match. With that, they are hoping to be able to bounce back in this game. This is an important match for them as they are hopeful to take an early advantage for this series. Playing in the European stage is no longer new for them, which is why they are confident to pull an upset here.

Unlike Inter, Benfica has a number of absentees for this match. Goncalo Guedes and Julian Draxler are both sidelined for Benfica due to their injuries. Nicolas Otamendi on the other hand is facing a suspension here. Alexander Bah on the other hand is a doubt in this match.

Prediction:

SL Benfica (1.5)
Odds: -0.85

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