Kick-off: 2000, 19/04/2023
Stadium: San Siro
TV: BT Sport
Inter Milan look to be in total control of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Benfica following last week’s 2-0 win in Lisbon.
The Nerazzurri just seemed to have too much nous for their highly-rated, but inexperienced opponents during that first-leg encounter.
More of the same is expected at the San Siro and 11/10 for a home win is our initial Inter Milan vs Benfica prediction.
Inter proving hard to break down
Benfica started brightly enough in Portugal and Rafa Silva’s fierce strike tested Andre Onana, but chances were few and far between in the opening period.
After the interval, Alessandro Bastoni’s teasing cross into the box was expertly headed in by Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella.
The Nerazzurri survived a goalmouth scramble at the other end before Henrikh Mkhitaryan couldn’t quite finish off some neat build-up play.
With 10 minutes remaining, Joao Mario was penalised for handball just inside the box and substitute Romelu Lukaku made no mistake from the spot.
Head coach Simone Inzaghi said: “The lads played a great game against a very strong side and in a difficult stadium with a great atmosphere.
“However, we know that this is just the first round because Benfica have shown that they can play great games everywhere this season.
“We will need another great performance to reach the semi-finals.”
Having kept two clean sheets versus Porto in the previous round, Inter looked very comfortable at the back this time.
Examining the 5/2 for another win to nil.
Eagles always vulnerable at this stage
Benfica impressed during the group stage by edging out PSG for top spot and again when outclassing Club Brugge in the last 16.
This is a club which invariably has its limitations exposed once getting as far as the quarter-finals, though.
Eagles boss Roger Schmidt admitted after the Lisbon clash: “In a brief analysis, they were better than us.
“With few opportunities, they scored two goals; we had the same level of opportunities and couldn’t score.”
Benfica are still leading the way in Liga Portugal Bwin but lost to Porto and Chaves either side of the Inter defeat.
Ultimately, you can’t keep selling players like Darwin Nunez and Enzo Fernandez and not feel the effect.
Let’s add 5/1 for Lukaku to break the deadlock.
(Assist: Lautaro Martínez)
|38'||Fredrik Aursnes |
(Assist: Rafa Silva)
(Assist: Federico Dimarco)
(Assist: Federico Dimarco)
|86'||António Silva |
(Assist: Alejandro Grimaldo)
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