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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Inter Milan's Italian manager Simone Inzaghi wary of Atletico’s ‘dribbles & technique’

Inter Milan host Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 on Tuesday as the clear leader in Serie A and looking a more solid contender now than on their run to the 2023 final against Man City.

AP/PTI, Reuters Geneva Published 20.02.24, 10:25 AM
PSV Eindhoven’s Argentine goalkeeper Walter Benitez practises ahead of their Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund.

PSV Eindhoven’s Argentine goalkeeper Walter Benitez practises ahead of their Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund. PSV

After Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid and Manchester City seized centre stage last week, the Champions League spotlight can now turn to shine on others.

Inter Milan host Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 on Tuesday as the clear leader in Serie A and looking a more solid contender now than on their run to the 2023 final against Man City.

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In the other match on Tuesday, PSV Eindhoven host Borussia Dortmund in a clash of clubs that each lifted the European Cup trophy once.

PSV are a hot favourite to win the Dutch league having dropped the fewest points (four, drawing two of 22 games) and amassed the biggest goal difference (60) in any of the major European leagues.

Inter’s progress

Inter Milan were unexpected finalists last season avoiding any English or Spanish opponent in the knockout rounds until the final. An unlucky 1-0 loss to Manchester City in Istanbul showed doubters the three-time European champions were worth their place.

Inter go to Madrid after six straight wins in Serie A helped them build a nine-point lead ahead of Sunday’s games.

Inter and Atletico will put up their traditionally solid defences against productive attacks this season: Inter’s Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram have combined for 35 goals in all competitions while the Alvaro Morata-Antoine Griezmann duo has 37 for Atletico.

Inter manager Simone Inzaghi is looking forward to taking on his former teammate Diego Simeone, but is unsure what to expect from the unpredictable Spanish side.

Inzaghi and Simeone were members of the Lazio side which won a Serie A and Coppa Italia double in 2000.

“Clearly, it will be a pleasure to see Diego as an opponent again,” Inzaghi told a news conference on Monday.

Atletico are fourth in La Liga and after two games without a win, they bounced back with a 5-0 victory over Las Palmas on Saturday.

“Predicting what will happen is not easy, seeing Atletico’s last games they have changed a lot... They are a team that dribbles much more than in the past, they have a lot of technique and very good quality players,” Inzaghi said.

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