The international club football competition in Europe, the UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the season 2022/23 season will today come to an interesting end in Istanbul, Turkey with Italian giants Inter Milan with three UCL titles in their kitty squaring up against English Champions Manchester City who are gunning for their first ever title in the UCL.
How Inter Milan Qualified
They qualified from a strong group including Bayern and Barcelona and have now reached the final after eliminating Porto, Benfica and Milan. They have put in six solid knockout stage performances, keeping five clean sheets in the process, and more than merited their 3-0 aggregate victory over their city rivals.
They have now reached the final after eliminating Porto, Benfica and neighbour AC Milan.
The Nerazzurri have often lost against lower-ranked teams in Serie A, but have always performed against the top sides. The game in Istanbul will be one of the biggest in the club’s history.
How Manchester City Qualified
Man City was allotted in Group G in the UCL 2022-23 draw and paired alongside Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Copenhagen.
Among the six matches played, City won four and played out a goalless draw in two against Copenhagen and Dortmund, respectively. It scored 14 goals in the group stages and conceded just two on its way to qualifying for the knockout stages.
City defeated German oppositions Lipzig and and Bayern Munich in the second round and quarter-final respectively before defeating Real Madrid in the semi-final 5-1 om aggregate.
Current Form of both sides
Inter Milan finished 3rd on the scudetto table but the Nerrazurri only lost one game in their last twelve in all competitions.
However, Manchester City were crowned champions of England they however had mixed results in their last 10 games drawing and losing some. Although they ensured they won the important ones including the final of the FA cup where they defeated Manchester United 2-1 at Wembley.
Record Equaling Treble If…….
Manchester City will emulate Manchester United’s 1999 treble if they beat Inter Milan in Saturday’s Champions League final but it would take something truly extraordinary to match the spine-tingling way Alex Ferguson’s side made history 24 years ago.
Key Battles upfront
Monster striker Haaland gives City a whole new dimension of attacking threat and if Inter are to have any chance of stopping Pep Guardiola’s team, they need to stay right on top of the Norwegian.
Inter have been without former captain and star centre-back Milan Skriniar, who is off to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, for months due to a back injury and in theory there should be no match between Haaland and Acerbi.
Veteran Italy international Acerbi has been a capable replacement for Skriniar but he has not had to deal with this sort of striker, who will top the Champions League scoring charts for the second time in his career aged just 22.
The difficulty of Acerbi’s task was summed up by a young fan outside Inter’s training ground who gave the 35-year-old a fishing net with which to try and catch Haaland.
Lukaku and Martinez for Inter Milan
Both players have hit top form of late with scoring goals aplenty for the Inter Milan side. They are fit and ready to capitalize on loose ball and defensive error.
City’s Ikay Gundogan and Kelvin DeBruyne
These power midfieders have been in great form all through the season.Their job is to rip open any defence to create chances or sometimes score. They have been powerful instrument in the hands of City and nightmare to opposition midfielders and defenders.
Andre Onana versus Ederson
Inter Milan parade topnotch Cameroonian goalie who has carved a niche for hinself this particular season. His heroics and shot stopping abilities is one of the reasons they are in the final.
Brazillian goalie Ederson has also beeb doing fantastically well for City. His reflexes ability to deal with aerial balls and defense coordination is top notch.
Battle of great coaches Inzaghi vs Guardiola
Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi has prepared for tonight’s Champions League final clash with Man City on both a tactical and a psychological level.
In order to carry out his tactical vision, Inzaghi knows how important psychology will be.
The Inter coach is stressing confidence and an upbeat attitude. He does not want his players to feel too much pressure.
Moreover, Inzaghi is looking to put out an aggressive team.
Pep Guardiola on the other hand is counting on Tactical play most especially offensive football. He’s banking on De Bruyne for supplies and Goal poacher, Haaland for the goals.
According to the Spaniard his secret to success is having world-class players like De Bruyne and Erling Haaland in his team.
Inter Milan versus Manchester City Kick-offs at 9pm