Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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The Spaniards lost the first match with the score 0:1. Will they get revenge at the home stadium?

Atletico de Madrid will host FC Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match at the Civitas Metropolitano Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, March 14, beginning at 01:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Atletico Madrid News & Current Form: 

After an extremely disappointing campaign last season, which was marked by a Champions League group stage exit and a failure to qualify for the UEFA Europa League, Atletico returned to the playoffs of Europe’s premier club competition. Despite finishing at the top of Quartet E, which also included SS Lazio, Feyenoord Rotterdam and Celtic FC, Madrid were unlucky to face Serie A leaders Inter in ⅛ of the final. 

By the way, Diego Simeone and Simone Inzaghi once played together for Lazio. Being teammates, in the season-1999/2000 they made a golden double, winning the championship and the Coppa Italia. Now they are two top title-winning coaches at the helm of the grands.

In the match of three weeks ago, the Striped Ones failed to hit the crossbar of the gate of Yann Sommer not once, and in the second half made a gross error in defense and deservedly lost 1:0. 

The first meeting took place with a tangible advantage of the Milanese, but they could win only with a minimal difference in the score. However, even a one-goal advantage before the return leg gives Inter a tactical advantage. 

Los Colchoneros need to beat Milan with a 2 goal difference to reach the quarterfinals, the last time the Spaniards were in a similar situation was in the 2014/15 season. Then Atletico also lost in the first leg to Bayer 04 Leverkusen with a score of 0:1. In the return leg, Madrid minimally defeated the German and, thanks to a penalty shootout, progressed to the next stage of the Champions League, but the current squad is hardly capable of such a feat.

In the Primera, the hosts are 14 points behind Real Madrid CF and can not boast of stability in the results: a big 5:0 victory over UD Las Palmas and an important 2:1 win over Real Betis alternate with difficulties outside the home walls (4 consecutive away misfires). 

It would not have been so bad if Diego Simeone’s charges had taken three points in the last round, but Cadiz CF, who are in the relegation zone, scored two unanswered goals against Atletico with the efforts of Juanmi and celebrated victory for the first time in 23 matches. Simeone’s team had a numerical advantage in the game, but the scoreboard crossed out all their efforts.

It should be noted that in 9 past meetings Madrid won only twice, played two draws and suffered 5 defeats. The absolutely unnecessary defeat not only puts Atletico’s ability to stay in the Champions League zone in doubt, but also possibly disrupts the game adjustments before the return match. 

Atletico were also knocked out of the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao (4:0 on aggregate of the two meetings). It is important to note that Simeone’s men have failed to progress further in any of their three fixtures in the UCL playoffs after losing the first leg, although the Spaniards have lost just one of their 32 fixtures in all competitions at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

Injuries to the leaders have clearly had an impact: Alvaro Morata missed the 25th round of La Liga due to knee problems and for a long time was not ready to spend much time on the field, even in the first game with the Nerazzurri played only 36 minutes. At the same time, the Spaniard is Atletico’s top scorer this season.

Coaches Diego Simeone and Simone Inzaghi were teammates in SS Lazio and won the league together

He has already scored 20 goals in all competitions, and recently his finishing problems have worsened. In the last seven rounds in the Spanish league, the 32-year-old striker has scored only two goals, he also missed some good chances in the first game against the Italian club.

Even scarier for Simeone is the loss of Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman has damaged ankle ligaments: he was absent in the previous four La Liga rounds and the Spanish Cup semi-final and he is unlikely to appear against Inter. With 25 assists (18+7), the striker is Atletico’s best in the goal+pass system. However, in the last seven rounds in La Liga, he has not scored a single goal, giving four assists.

At the same time, Thomas Lemar (Achilles tendon rupture), Cesar Azpilicueta and central defender Jose Jimenez remain in the club’s infirmary.

Inter Milan News & Current Form: 

Inter lost first place in their group to Real Sociedad on goal difference, despite three wins and three draws in six rounds. At the same time, the Nerazzurri reached the playoffs of the main continental championship for the third time in a row, and last year they reached the final, where, however, suffered an upsetting 1:0 defeat to Manchester City. The last time Milan failed to qualify for the Champions League play-offs, having won the first leg, was in the 2005/06 season.

Top scorer of FC Inter Milan – Lautaro Martinez

On the domestic front, the Black and Blues are racing towards another Scudetto, which the club has not won since the 2020-21 season. After losing to US Sassuolo at the end of September, Simone Inzaghi’s side have not allowed any more slip-ups and are now deservedly top of the Serie A standings with a 15-point lead over trailing Juventus FC. The team’s confidence is boosted by a series of 10 consecutive wins, including over such greats as ACF Fiorentina (0:1), Juventus (1:0), AS Roma (2:4), Atalanta BC (4:0) and Bologna FC (0:1). 

The team also won the Supercoppa of the country: they defeated Lazio (3:0) in the semi-finals and beat SSC Napoli (1:0) in the deciding match. For Inzaghi, the victory in the tournament was his fifth as a mentor, which is a record. Simone was recently recognized as the best Italian coach of the year.

In 38 matches in all official tournaments, the team conceded only 20 goals, and scored 84, 26 of which were scored by Lautaro Martinez. It was the Argentine who scored the winning goal in the Super Cup final.

It is likely that Lautaro will be the hero of the upcoming match. In the first meeting, the striker missed several great opportunities to score. Plus, Marko Arnautovic failed to score from the penalty spot with his pass, the ball flew a few centimeters above the crossbar.

Atletico Madrid form guide: W-L-D-L-W-L

Inter Milan form guide: W-W-W-W-W-W

Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan Head-To-Head Record:

Atletico MadridDrawInter Milan
  • February 20, 2024: Inter Milan 1 – 0 Atletico Madrid (UEFA Champions League).

Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan Predicted XI:

Atletico Madrid’s possible starting lineup (5-3-2): Oblak; Molina, Savic, Witsel, Hermoso, Lino; Saul, De Paul, Koke; Depay, Morata.

Inter Milan’s possible starting lineup (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez.

Statistical preview of the match Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan:

  • Atletico’s First XI average age is 29.3 years, Inter’s First XI average age is 30.5 years.
  • The total value of Madrid’s squad is 454 mln euros, while the total of the Italian side comes up to  588 mln euros.
  • Szymon Marciniak has been appointed as the center referee. The referee has already served 11 games this season, showing an average of 5.5 Yellow Cards and also whistles 27 fouls per game. 
  • Atletico break the rules an average of 10.93 times per game, compared to Inter’s 10.63.
  • Atletico have an average of 3.1 offsides per game, while Inter have 1.74.
  • Atletico make an average of 5.49 shots on goal, while Inter have 5.37.
  • Atletico’s average percentage of possession is 52.29, while Inter’s is 55.42.
  • Inter earn an average of 0.42 penalties per game (16 in 38 matches), while Atletico earn 0.17 (7 in 41 matches).
  • Atletico concede an average of just 0.9 goals at home, while Inter concede an average of 0.56 away.
  • Atletico receive an average of 2.29 yellow cards in the current Champions League, Inter – exactly two. 
  • Inter have won their last 13 matches in a row.
  • Inter have not conceded in five of the last six matches. 
  • Simeone’s wards have only 2 wins in their last 9 matches in all tournaments.

What has been said before the match:

Head coach of Atletico Diego Simeone shared his expectations from the return match of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League with Inter:

“Tomorrow we will meet, perhaps, with one of the best teams in Europe. But I believe in my players and my team and I know that they will play a good game against a great opponent. It will be a match that requires very high concentration and whoever has it will win.”

Midfielder of Atletico Axel Witsel about Inter:

“The first match we did not work out, but tomorrow at their stadium we can correct the situation. At home we play very well, so it will be different football. Inter are extremely strong in all positions, so it won’t be easy for us. But if we play with the same intensity and aggression, we can do something great tomorrow.”

Simone Inzaghi, coach of Inter Milan, about the playing style of upcoming opponent:

“Looking at our season, I can say we’ve performed well against both aggressive and defensive teams. We don’t know what Atletico will do because they often change during the match and have great quality. We know it will be an intense match, and we must make the difference in the difficulties we’ll face.”

“I cannot know what Simeone will do. I know they sometimes play with our system and sometimes they change. Formations don’t make the difference; it’s the interpretation of the match that will be decisive. We want to play a great match.”

“It’s a fact: Atletico transform at home. In La Liga, they would be first if they only played at home, and we all know what a great coach Cholo is, so we have prepared ourselves in the best possible way knowing that their crowd will be very passionate.”

Atletico Madrid vs Inter Milan Prediction:

Simone Inzaghi’s Internazionale are enjoying a 2023/24 season feeling a solid competitive edge: 30 wins, seven draws and only one defeat. They are now on a run of 13 consecutive victories, a figure that even monstrous Manchester City can’t boast. The attacking and defensive metrics are amazing: for example, in the away games of the 23/24 season, the Black and Blues concede just 0.56 goals per game while scoring 2.5 on average. In the current UCL campaign, the Nerazzurri share the lead in the number of meetings played on nil – 4, the Italians do not let their opponents get hot: 5 out of 7 matches have seen a total of less than 2.5 goals. And in the last edition of Champions League the Milanese stood out with a solid defense, having secured 8 clean sheets from 13 matches played. Martinez and co are good on all fronts: they took the trophy in the Italian Super Cup, and the Scudetto is only a matter of time – the margin over second place in Serie A has reached 16 points. So far, all is smooth on the European arena as well: at the UCL group stage, Inter have not lost any of their six matches (three wins and three draws), entering the play-offs from the second place of the quartet D. In the first game of the 1/8 finals against Atletico, the Italians won with a modest score of 1:0, but the statistics reveal the real difference between the clubs: in terms of expected goals it is 2.33 versus 0.65, almost three times as many shots taken (19 vs 7), complete superiority in shots on goal (5 vs 0), aerial duels won (17 vs 6) –  the Nerazzurri were better in every respect.

In the return game we will see a different scenario. The Mattress Makers will play more aggressive and concerted football. But is Atletico Madrid in such a form (only 2 wins in the last 9 matches in all competitions) capable of inflicting on the Serie A representative the second defeat of the season and the first in the UCL? Barely believable even considering Diego Simeone’s team is traditionally good at home: 17 wins, two draws and one defeat. On average, they concede just 0.9 goals at home and score a lot and regularly: 2.42 goals per 90 minutes on average. Madrid’s prospects in the second leg are extremely gloomy, with Inter leading in the score and traveling to the Estadio Metropolitano with a well-defined game plan. Inzaghi has a big trump card up his sleeve – there is an opportunity to play second fiddle, to cautiously look for mistakes and to sting at the right moment with a lightning-fast counter attacking outburst. This is Nerazzurri’s speciality, they have always been able to be patient and wait for their chances. The Colchoneros have conceded in 9 of their last 10 official meetings. In addition, despite the magic of the Metropolitano, here and now Atletico are on the decline, the vanguard of the attack Antoine Griezmann has not yet recovered. The match will be difficult and close, but we are inclined to the success of the guests, we expect that the Milanese won’t let go of their advantage. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Inter will not lose in regulation time and the total of the match will be less than 3.5 – Yes.

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