The second semifinal in Europa League this season will be held on Monday. The three-time title holder Inter Milan and 2009 Champions Shakhtar Donestk will be squaring off in Dusseldorf to fight for one spot in the final. Both teams have been impressive with their offensive football. This is inevitably a great opportunity for Antonio Conte to win his first European title as well as to prove to the board of directors that he deserves to gain more of their supports to capitalise his ambition in winning Serie A next season.
The teams’ latest news
La Beniamata managed to dismantle Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in the quarterfinal last week. Nico Barella and Romelu Lukaku gave them the lead in less than 10 minutes after a quarter hour on the pitch before the quite instant reply from Kai Havertz. Both teams were involved in a tight game but none could score more goals.
The Ukranian side secured one place at the semifinal after a fairly easy win over FC Basel. They smashed the Swiss side 4-1. The Brazilian connection in the squad was the star of the match. Junior Morales bagged an opener followed by Taison, Alan Patrick’s penalty and Dodo. Luis Castro’s men are on the verge of rekindle their success in the 2009 edition.
Antonio Conte is still in favour of his favourite 3-5-2 with the transition to 3-4-1-2. The Belgian international is the key frontman alongside Lautaro Martinez. Unfortunately, their back-up, Alexis Sanchez is ruled out along with Mathias Vecino due to their injury. Thus, Conte needs to prepare the alternative attacking plan when they fail to break the deadlock such as playing a lone striker with two attacking midfielders behind, Christian Eriksen and Stefano Sensi or Nico Barella can be opted for to transform it to 3-4-2-1.
His counterpart, Luis Castro tends to deploy the offensive 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1 with Brazilian connections. In the recent team, Junior Moraes, Taison, Alan Patrick plus Marlos are the main forward supported by Viktor Kovalenko and Taras Stepachenko in the midfield.
Players to watch
Romelu Lukaku is aiming for continuing on scoring as he did in the last two games. He has netted four goals and provided one assist. Some other key figures in the team are the Uruguayan veteran Diego Godin, the wing back, Ashley Young and the Dutch defender Stefan De Vrij.
In Shakhtar squad, Junior Moraes, Alan Patrick and Taison are the key men in the team. They have bagged eight goals combined and been the integral part of Luis Castro’s starting IX. Another notable name to watch is the young Israeli Manor Solomon who can come off the bench to make the difference on their attacking side.
Inter vs Shakhtar Prediction
As the favourite, Nerazzuri needs to be cautious with the speedy attack of Luis Castro’s men. His Brasilian connection has got the pace and composure to force Handanovic on working harder to keep them clean sheet, which is rather unlikely. Yet, the Italian side has Lukaku and Eriksen who has been more experienced in a decisive game like this. A narrow win for Inter is more probable.
According to the punters, Marko Brozovic and Co are still backed to win higher. Their odds to win are at 1.77, whereas Shakhtar is only projected to win at 4.60. The draw result is at the value of 4.10.