Manchester City will surely never have a better chance of winning the Champions League and in turn a famous Treble. That is not to say that Inter are pushovers, but are the weakest of the three teams standing in City’s way for their tilt at history, the others being Premier League runners-up Arsenal and FA Cup finalists Manchester United.
The teams are meeting for the first time and the venue is the biggest club prize, the European Champions League. City has been knocking on the door for some time now, this makes it their second time getting close to lifting their most dreaded trophy. Manchester was beaten in the final against Chelsea last two years and they seem to have learned from their past mistakes with the manner in which they dispatched Bayern and the holders Real Madrid, it is no surprise they are regarded by many as favorites.
Back in the final after 13 years, tactically, Inter is solid at the back and fluid going forward, moving well as a team, with a physically demanding style of play that requires everyone on their A-game. The Nerazzuri defense is a block and they attack as a unit, they have shown themselves to be adept at understudying well their opponent, so the hope is that they defend low and play on the break, but will this be enough to lift the trophy the fourth time?
Adding yet another Premier League trophy and FA Cup crown to his distinguished resume in 2022-23, Guardiola’s list of domestic achievements at the Etihad is endless, but the coveted continental honor has consistently eluded him since he left the comfort of Camp Nou behind.
Although the Nerazzuri’s efforts to stop Napoli from winning the Serie A title were unsuccessful, the focus of pre-match discussions is on Man City’s attempt to win both domestic and continental trophies. However, Simone Inzaghi’s team can achieve a similar level of success. Four months after their victory over Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana, Inter defeated Milan again, this time in the Champions League semifinals, to secure a place in the final and make a grand return to Europe’s biggest stage.
Just eight days after that, Inter won both the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia titles, defeating Fiorentina 2-1 in the latter’s final. This was the first of two final losses for Viola, whose hopes of Europa Conference League triumph were dashed by West Ham United. As the Citizens prepares for its second Champions League final, Inter will aim to avoid a similar fate to their fellow Italian club.
Kyle Walker (RB) for the Citizens wasn’t at the training on Monday and Guardiola confessed he is experiencing trouble in his back, however, Walker dismissed concerns about his fitness, the English should form part of a fully-fit contingent for City, come Saturday.
Erling Haaland (CF), goalscoring prowess could earn him a goal that would see him overtake Ruud van Nistelrooy for the most single Champions League goals for an English team, the hitman has never gone three successive games without a goal in Europe’s tourney.
As for the Nerazzuri, Inter’s ex-Man United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan to a thigh injury in the second leg of his side’s semi-final success over AC Milan, but he’s reportedly winning the battle to be fit for the big stage.
Joaquin Correa, Inter’s attacker is said to have acquired a calf injury against Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia final, although a spot on the bench will await the 28-year-old if the need arises.
Simone Inzaghi has consistently settled on Martinez and Dzeko as his established strike pairing crunch matches while Romelu Lukaku will also aim to provide impetus from the bench before bidding farewell for the second time. Marcelo Brozovic may get remanded on the sidelines if Mkhitaryan can prove his fitness.
Possible Starting line-ups
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland
Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Martinez, Dzeko
Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium will host the final on Saturday 10 June 2023. The winners gain a place in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage, if they have not qualified via their domestic campaign.