This is one of the big matches in Europa League quarterfinal this year. Inter and Bayer Leverkusen once won this title back then. La Beniamata won it three times in 1991, 1994 and 1998 while Leverkusen did it in 1988. These former champions, which started their continental campaign in the Champions League before failing to progress to the next stage, will be squaring off in Dusseldorf for a single-leg fixture earlier this week. It will be a tight as well as thrilling game for sure.
Both teams latest news
Leverkusen had to struggle to snatch a 1-0 win against Glasgow Rangers in the second-leg of round of 16 last week. They were almost frustrated by Steven Gerrard’s men’s defence line which were solid and discipline before finally Moussa Diaby found the back of the net on the 51st minute.
Nerazzurri also had the same situation in the round of 16. They faced off a hard-fought Getafe before dismantling them 2-0 eventually. Romelu Lukaku took the lead with his goal on far post on the first half. Then, Christian Eriksen doubled their lead on the second half taking advantage of the rebound from Getafe’s defence.
Antonio Conte is likely to deploy his regular 3-4-1-2 or 3-5-2 formation. Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku will still be the main forward with Eriksen behind them. Unfortunately, Mathias Vecino and Stefano Sensi are ruled out for this fixture due to their injury.
Peter Bosz might need to consider switching his formation to 3-4-3 instead of employing 4-2-3-1 as in the previous game if he does aim for one spot in the semifinal. Kai Havertz can be given the false nine role while Kevin Volland and Leon Bailey or Moussa Diaby could play wide. In the midfield, Kerem Demirbay and Charles Aranguiz will be supporting from the middle. The only player on the injury table is Paulinho.
Player to watch
The Belgian international Romelu Lukaku is still the main frontman and scorer. He has bagged three goals and made one assist in Europa League while his Argentinean duet Lautaro Martinez has none to contribute yet. Some other key men to watch here are Diego Godin and the goalie Samir Handanovic.
Leverkusen is likely to select the combination of his key figures and young and players. Kevin Volland might still get a nod to lead his team. Kai Havertz will be the one they count on to score. He has scored three goals and provided two assists in Europa League this season, while Volland’s contribution on the scoring process is still none. Another notable name to watch is the defender Edmund Tapsoba.
Inter vs Leverkusen Prediction
Despite playing on German soil, it does not give too much advantage on Leverkusen as the game is behind closed doors. Inter might be striving for advancing to semifinal here, possibly by penalties, especially in Peter Bosz’s men deploy different tactics such as 3-4-3. Inter’s defense will be meeting the waves of attack before possible conceding. However, Lukaku is the game changer and bound to bring La Beniamata to a narrow win, probably after extra time.
The match is expected to be even. Inter are projected to win at 2.07. Kai Havertz and Co are only backed to win at 3.50 while the draw result is slightly higher, which is at 3.65.