Manuel Veth –
Inter Milan vs Dortmund – Wednesday, October 23, 20:00BST/21:00CEST – Stadio San Siro, Milan, Italy
Antonio Conte has revitalised Inter Milan, even if the Nerazzurri have suffered two critical defeats in recent weeks. First came the 2-1 loss to Barcelona and then another 2-1 defeat, this time to Juventus.
“At some point, we will stumble,” Conte said a few weeks back. “Key will be to get back up right away.” That has not been easy given the international break and an injury to Alexis Sánchez.
Furthermore, Stefano Sensi will also be out for the game against Dortmund. “Injuries can’t be an excuse,” Conte said this week. His side responded well to the injuries and recent defeats with a 4-3 victory over Sassuolo. “The route to the European elite is still long,” Conte said. The games against Dortmund, however, could be a benchmark for Inter’s rebuild.
That is, in particular, true after Dortmund’s performance against Borussia Mönchengladbach. After three 2-2 draws in the Bundesliga and a disappointing performance against Slavia Praha, Dortmund finally convinced against league leaders Gladbach on Saturday.
Dortmund had several chances and saw two goals ruled off due to offside. The three points put Dortmund within one point of the league leaders and even on points with biggest rivals Bayern Munich.
There are, however, still some question marks. The defence still looked shaky, in particular, in the last few moments of the game. Also how will superstar Jadon Sancho respond to his internal suspension that he had to serve against Gladbach after returning late from the international break?
“Gladbach was the first step,” the head of the licencing department Sebastian Kehl said. A first step that has to be followed up with positive results, first against Inter and then in the derby against Schalke on Saturday.
Neither will be easy tasks for Dortmund. In fact, the match on Wednesday should be finely balanced and will likely end in a draw.
Inter Milan vs Dortmund – Players to look out for:
Romelu Lukaku #9 – Inter Milan
Romelu Lukaku has been excellent since joining Inter Milan from Manchester United this summer. The Belgian forward has scored fivee goals in nine games across all competitions this season. This weekend his ever-growing chemistry with Lautaro Martínez was evident; both strikers scored two goals in Inter’s win.
Manuel Akanji #16 – Borussia Dortmund
Manuel Akanji has struggled in recent weeks. But Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre has kept his faith in the Swiss centre-back. Nonetheless, Akanji could find himself in a different role on Wednesday as Weigl is expected to slot in the position next to Mats Hummels. Akanji, as a result, could be playing out wide, which might take some off the pressure off the embattled centre-back.
Inter Milan vs Dortmund – Match Stats
- Defeat to Eintracht was Inter’s fourth successive home defeat against German visitors; a 4-0 UEFA Champions League group stage defeat of Werder Bremen in September 2010 was their only win in their last seven such fixtures (D1 L5).
- Home and away Inter are without a win in six games against Bundesliga opponents (D1 L5).
- Dortmund have won only two of their last seven UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L3), one of those wins came last time out, 2-0 at Slavia.
- Dortmund have managed only three victories in their last 13 European away matches (D4 L6), although all of those wins have come in their last five matches (L2) – and all in the UEFA Champions League.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Inter Milan vs Dortmund – 2-2
Inter Milan vs Dortmund – Lineups
Handanović – Skriniar, de Vrij, Godin – Asamoah, Brožović, Vecino, Candreva – Politano – Martínez, Lukaku
Head Coach: Antonio Conte
Bürki – Schulz, Hummels, Weigl, Akanji – Delaney, Witsel – Hazard, Reus, Sancho – Brandt
Head Coach: Lucien Favre
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.