Manchester City go head to head with Inter Milan this Saturday for the biggest prize in European Football, The UEFA Champions League trophy. Manchester City have been one of the most dominant forces in Europe this season, having already won their league and the prestigious FA Cup and have their sights on a historic treble, an achievement that only a handful of clubs have achieved in European football. The only team to achieve this feat in English football was their major rivals Manchester United in 1999, so as if winning a treble wasn’t enough, they also have the potential to rub their rivals’ noses in it.
Inter Milan have had success in their domestic cup as well, but they finished third in Serie A this year behind Lazio and champions Napoli and find themselves going into this game as the clear underdogs.
A win for Pep Guardiola would mean a first Champions League trophy since 2011 when he last won it with Barcelona. He has not won a Champions League with any of the other top clubs he has managed but has come close on many occasions, only for his teams not to be able to jump over the final hurdle. If City were to win the Champions League, they would join the ranks of legendary teams that have completed the historic treble.
Speaking of trebles, Inter Milan are one of the teams who have achieved this remarkable feat and will be determined not to share the prestige of winning it with another club. Inter Milan have won the European Cup three times, with their most recent win in 2010, but the subsequent decade was marked by underwhelming results and a decline in their overall displays.
Inter have seen a resurgence in recent years, though, by winning a couple of titles, and winning the Champions League would be the perfect way for them to announce their return to the world stage.
Manchester City vs Inter Milan Tips
The past three Champions League Finals have all ended 1-0, setting the expectation for another low-scoring encounter in this game as well. Both teams like to play possession-based football, yet only one can come out at the top, presenting Simone Inzaghi with a daunting challenge against Pep Guardiola.
Pep’s team is likely to dominate the game early on, and Inzaghi will most likely sit back with his 3-5-2 formation and try to hold on for as long as he can in hopes of finding opportunities to counter-attack.
Manchester City have been consistently finding the back of the net throughout this season, with goals coming in from various positions in their formation. Given their attacking threat, we believe there is a great chance that Manchester City will score in the first half.
İlkay Gündoğan who always seems to find his form at the end of the season, and star striker Erling Haaland might be worth backing to score the first goal.
Manchester City vs Inter Milan Match Analysis
With the strong physical presence of Lukaku and Haaland in the forward lines of both teams, there is considerable physical strength up there that is expected to pose a significant challenge to the opposing defenders. The result of the match may hinge on the battle of physicality, as winning one crucial tackle upfront can create a scoring opportunity for either of these strikers to secure that crucial goal.
Both defenses will be kept busy as they try to resist the attacking threat of their opposition, and we can expect some added pressure on key players because of this. Experienced veteran Francesco Acerbi will face a difficult test as he goes up against Erling Haaland, relying on his wealth of experience to employ every tactic and skill at his disposal in an effort to contain the Norwegian striker.
Inzaghi will place his trust in the experience of Marcelo Brozovic to counter the threats coming from the midfield. With the presence of players like Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, who pose as much of a danger as Haaland, Brozovic will play a crucial role in stopping their advances in the midfield.
Manchester City vs Inter Milan Predictions
This game is going to be Pep’s biggest chance to clinch a Champions League for himself and Manchester City and convert it into a treble as a cherry on top. Inter Milan, on paper at least, are likely to carry less threat than some other teams like Arsenal and Manchester United, which City has swept aside this year.
We think the game could be a bit tighter than some are expecting and finish 2-1, with City becoming the fourth English team to get their hands on the UEFA Champions League trophy.
Although Manchester City are the favorites to emerge victorious in this match, they are likely to concede a goal at some stage, considering they have not had a clean sheet for the past three games. With the high stakes involved, it is expected that Inter Milan will press their defense hard, and this could lead to one of their experienced strikers converting for them.
Manchester City News and Squad
Manchester City have not picked up any major injuries in the FA Cup final and will likely carry the same squad forward for their Champions League final. There are some doubts about Kyle Walker, as he is reported to have picked up a minor back injury which may keep him out. 18-year-old Rico Lewis, who has surpassed all expectations this season, might have to fill in if Kyle Walker is unavailable. There are no other concerns for Pep Guardiola, and he will likely have a very strong starting line-up and bench for the final.
Inter Milan News and Squad
Simone Inzaghi will be without Joaquin Correa, who has picked up a calf injury after their game versus Napoli. The forward has only one goal contribution this year, so it is unlikely the manager is losing too much sleep about this, especially with the return of Romelu Lukaku after injury. Two key players could return directly into the starting lineup. Milan Skriniar was named on the bench in Inter’s final Seria A game, and he is almost certain to start the final, while Henrkh Mkhitaryan is also expected to make his return from a thigh injury in time for Saturday.