Internazionale vs Borussia Dortmund: UEFA Champions League - Preview and Prediction
Borussia Dortmund travel to the San Siro to take on two-time European champions Internazionale in a crucial Group F clash.
The Nerazzurri are looking a different beast altogether with Antonio Conte at the helm and some shrewd acquisitions in the transfer market. They brought in players such as Romelu Lukaku, Diego Godin and Alexis Sanchez to help them reach their former glory.
Antonio Conte’s side is on a good run of form and sit second in the Serie A table just one point behind Juventus. However, in the Champions League, they are bottom of their group with one loss and a draw to their name.
The 2012-13 finalists are also on the right track after a string of substandard performances domestically, and in the premier club competition. They also brought in their former captain, Mats Hummels to strengthen their porous defence which leaked in 50 goals last year. The acquisition of young German talent Julian Brandt and Belgian Thorgan Hazard capped off an impressive summer for Dortmund..
The 'Black and Yellows' look stronger and more equipped this year. They top their Champions League group above the mighty Barcelona. In addition to this, they are also a point behind league leaders in the Bundesliga.
For Inter, heavyweight loan signing, Alexis Sanchez is a long term absentee with a dislocated ankle. One of Conte’s favourites, Antonio Candreva, is set to start in the right wing-back role with Danilo D'Ambrosio being a doubt for the clash. Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez will start up front to form a deadly attack.
On the other hand, Dortmund manager Lucien Favre has no injury setbacks with only Paco Alcacer being a doubt for the clash. So, Marco Reus will again lead the attack. Roman Burki has recovered and will start between the sticks. The gaffer has a fully fit squad to choose from, and the only question is about the formation of play he chooses to implement.
Romelu Lukaku vs Mats Hummels
Belgium’s all time leading goal scorer is as deadly as they come. He is lethal in front of the goal as he uses his strength and link-up play to demolish oppositions. Dortmund should be beware of the threat that he poses.
The former Manchester United forward has been in decent form this season and already has five goals to his name in seven Serie A appearances. He is great at aerial duels and also averages 5.5 shots per game.
Mats Hummels has been one of the best defenders going around for some years now. He is not the quickest, but he makes up for it with his game awareness. Hummels is great in the air and is amazing with his feet.
The World Cup winner came back to Dortmund this season and has been performing admirably well. He is averaging 6.5 clearances and 6.5 interceptions in his two Champions League appearances so far.
Hummels has to be at his very best to thwart the danger posed by Lukaku. The aerial battle will be the one to watch out for. Also, stopping Lukaku will be the first step towards having a positive result on the night.
Diego Godin vs Jadon Sancho
The Uruguay veteran is arguably the world’s best defender. The experienced defender was a clever signing and his vast experience would come in handy in Inter’s quest for trophies.
The tough tackling defender can be the missing piece of the puzzle for Antonio Conte. The 33-year old is averaging 2.4 clearances per game added with 2.2 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per match.
The young English starlet is a future superstar. The former Manchester City youngster is supremely talented and his style of play embodies the joy and happiness one would derive from playing football.
Sancho has grown leaps and bounds since he took the brave decision to move to a new country. He has started from where he left off last season and has already scored three goals and provided five assists to his teammates.
Godin is a no-nonsense defender and will come face-to-face with Sancho, who is renowned for his pace and trickery. Sancho has an edge over the former Atletico defender because of his age and speed but we shouldn’t undermine the vast experience Godin has had in dealing with such players. We back Godin to come out on top in this exciting battle.
Antonio Conte’s sides are known for their organization and discipline. They have also started the season well and are clicking at all fronts. The Nerazzurri are on the right track but are not a finished product as of yet. They are also winless in their last six Champions League matches.
On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund has plenty of attacking resources to choose from, but will miss Paco Alcacer’s goal scoring prowess against a well-drilled Inter defence.
The two sides look well-matched on paper. Looking at the form and the footballing talent on display, we predict an evenly played out encounter with the spoils being shared.
Score Prediction: Internazionale 1-1 Borussia Dortmund