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Here’s Why Inter Milan Can Still Qualify From The Champions’ League Group Stages
At 2-2 against the most accomplished team in Champions League history, it was a hammer blow when Real Madrid managed to find a winner and take the three points.
The Champions League hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Inter Milan in 2020, and the Italian side currently sits bottom of Group B with two points.
However, all isn’t lost because, historically, Inter have been here before and managed to pull through. Plus, Borussia Mönchengladbach, the leaders of the group, are only on five points, so a couple of wins separate European failure from glory. It really is that tight.
The Remaining Games
What gives Inter Milan an edge in the group is the remaining games. Yes, being bottom, two points adrift from the qualifying places is never a healthy position to be in with three fixtures to go.
However, two of those games are at the San Siro, a fortress on European nights similar to the Bernabeu or Anfield. Not only that, but the match-ups are very winnable as they are against the two weaker sides on form – Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Even the bookies believe Inter has a good opportunity to make it to the knockout stages as sites such as www.stsbet.co.uk have them as third favourites at odds of 11/10 to qualify. Therefore, according to the experts, Group B is far from over.
Lautaro Martinez & Romelu Lukaku
When a side has goals in the team, anything is possible because goalscorers create chances out of nothing. In Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku, Inter have one of the most formidable strike partnerships in Europe and the world.
Together, they have broken club records, including scoring at least 20 goals each in a single campaign in 2019-20, which www.goal.com says was last achieved by Obafemi Martins and Adriano in 2004-05. Lukaku has been particularly sharp after his Manchester United exit, equalling Ronaldo’s 1997-98 record of 34 goals for Inter in a debut season.
The pair already have 13 goals in 16 appearances in 2020-21, which highlights that they are still gelling and helping to paper over the cracks in the side.
Inter’s league form hasn’t been great, and club legend, Zavier Zanetti, has already been quoted as saying the current domestic form isn’t good enough. Placed seventh with 12 points, five points off the leaders, he’s right.
However, the league form could be a silver lining for Inter’s Champions League hopes as the Nerazzurri look to prioritise Europe over Serie A.
After all, the league is a long campaign, and putting everything into the Champions League still leaves Inter with options. For example, finishing third would mean automatic Europa League qualification, which www.bleacherreport.com explains is an opportunity for silverware and a direct route back into Europe’s premier competition.
This appears to be Conte’s thinking since he fielded a weakened team in the last game at Atalanta, with the likes of Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi and Ivan Perisic on the bench ahead of a crunch tie against Real Madrid.
Inter Milan have work to do, yet with two wins in such a close group, they would be in the driving seat for qualification. After that, anything can happen.