Real Madrid and Inter Milan face off for the first time since the International Champions Cup 2015 friendlies tournament in China.
Real are in desperate need of a win in the Champions League group stage given how they’ve only drawn a point in the previous two matches. The Di Stefano is the perfect stage to get on the board with their first three points. Real are second in La Liga and have won four of their last five league matches.
Inter are tied with Borussia Mönchengladbach at two points apiece while Shakhtar lead Group B with four points. They are currently sixth in Serie A, tied with three other clubs with 11 points. They have only won two of their last five matches, drawing twice in that span as well.
Both clubs are a bit banged up heading into Tuesday’s match. Real’s squad is even thinner on defense while Inter are missing one of their best scorers. It will be a tough match for both sides that holds crucial points.
Real Madrid are still without Nacho, Alvaro Odriozola and Dani Carvajal. The defensive depth is even thinner as Eder Militão is out after testing positive for coronavirus. Martin Ødegaard remains out with injury.
Inter are dealing with several injuries of their own as Matias Vecino and Stefano Sensi are out. Romelu Lukaku is also a serious doubt while Milan Škriniar is likely out after just recovering from and testing negative for coronavirus. Both have not trained with the full squad.
There are no suspensions for either club in Tuesday’s European matchup.
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Hazard, Benzema
With no depth at right back for Real, Lucas Vazquez will almost certainly be the starter once again.
The midfield trio has been going through different starting combinations as of late. Fede Valverde could always get the starting nod over Luka Modrić.
The front three that started against Huesca worked quite well as Eden Hazard looked great and scored in his season debut after injury. This attacking front will likely be given another go against Inter.
Handonović; D’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Kolarov; Hakimi, Barella, Brozović, Vidal; Eriksen, Perišić, Lautaro
Real Madrid—Inter Milan 3-2
This will arguably be Real Madrid’s toughest opponent in Group B, at least on paper. Real have struggled against both Shakhtar and Gladbach in the last two matches, so it is crucial that Real get the win to not fall further behind.
A win here puts Real in good standings position when they have to travel to San Siro in the next group stage match at the end of the month. It’s not getting out of hand just yet, but Los Blancos cannot afford to stick to the bottom of the group until it’s too late.
Real’s defense has looked way off in this tournament, though they’ve looked stable in La Liga. That must be adjusted as Inter are adept at scoring, though not having Lukaku available is a huge loss.
Inter’s defending hasn’t been great either in Serie A, but they’ve managed to only concede two goals in the Champions League so far.
Simply put, Real need this win more than anything to keep their hopes going. They can ill afford to fall further behind, especially if Gladbach or Shakhtar force a win in their match. Real should be able to get the job done and win a highly important match at home.