Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 3/4
Looking to collect a first Champions League victory at the second attempt on Tuesday night, Inter Milan will welcome Benfica to the San Siro.
Starting with the hosts, while Inter Milan might have slumped to a shock 2-1 loss at home against Sassuolo on September 27th, the Italian heavyweights certainly came roaring back over the weekend. Putting in a rampant performance away at Salernitana as they breezed their way to a 4-0 romp, Simone Inzaghi’s men will be looking to use that display as a platform to build on. Gaining a string of plaudits last season as they reached the Champions League final before suffering a 1-0 loss at the hands of Manchester City, the Nerazzurri have their sights firmly set on mounting another genuine European charge this time around. Marking their return from September’s international break with a famous 5-1 victory against bitter local rivals AC Milan, the one-time Lazio boss should find the mood in his camp at a continued high. Suffering just a single defeat from their opening eight appearances across all competitions, Inter will be excited to make a return to the San Siro on Tuesday night.
Dealing with what looks like it could be a long-term thigh injury, Inter Milan will be unable to call upon ex-West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic on Tuesday night. Likewise, Inzaghi’s squad are also without the trio of Juan Cuadrado, Stefano Sensi and Davide Frattesi.
Coming off the bench and remarkably bagging all four goals against Salernitana over the weekend, attacking talisman Lautaro Martinez will certainly be handed a full recall at the San Siro. Despite drawing a blank in each of his previous four appearances across all competitions, French international Marcus Thuram should join Martinez in the final third.
As for the visitors, opening their Champions League adventure with a downbeat performance on September 20th as they slumped to a 2-0 loss at home against Salzburg, Benfica know that they now face an uphill battle in Group D. However, despite being tipped as an underdog pick when they arrive at the San Siro on Tuesday night, the Portuguese giants certainly picked up some major momentum over the weekend. Putting in a hugely impressive performance on home soil as they claimed a 1-0 win against Porto, the Eagles should find the mood in their camp at a high. Bouncing back from that 2-0 loss at the hands of Salzburg a fortnight ago, it is worth highlighting that Benfica have won each of their other six appearances – a run that stems back to an action-packed 3-2 loss against Boavista on August 14th.
Ahead of their trip to the San Siro on Tuesday night, Benfica have reported a clean bill of health and have no injury concerns to worry about.
Bagging the winner against Porto over the weekend and continuing to shine since returning to Benfica this summer, ex-Real Madrid star Angel Di Maria will have a key role to play here. Settling for a spot on the bench a few days ago, Joao Mario will be hoping for a full recall against his former club here.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Inter Milan and Benfica met at the Champions League quarter-final stage last season, Tuesday’s hosts claimed a thrilling 5-3 aggregate victory.
- The Nerazzurri have lost just one of their opening eight appearances across all fronts.
- Despite opening their Champions League adventure with a shock 2-0 loss at home against Salzburg, Benfica have won each of their previous six appearances.
- Coming off the bench and remarkably bagging four goals against Salernitana over the weekend, Lautaro Martinez has notched nine Serie A strikes since opening the 2023/24 campaign.
- Each of Benfica’s opening four away fixtures have finished with both teams finding the net.
Making an immediate return to winning ways over the weekend as they landed a thumping 4-0 victory away at Salernitana, Inter Milan will be calling on a repeat performance here. However, while Benfica might have opened their Champions League adventure with a shock 2-0 loss at home against Salzburg a fortnight ago, the Portuguese giants have enjoyed a bright start to the new campaign. Although Simeone’s side might have claimed a thrilling 5-3 aggregate victory when they met Benfica at the Champions League quarter-final stage last season, they could face another tricky test in midweek. Likewise, with the Eagles seeing each of their first four away fixtures finish with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome here.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 3/4
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