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Champions League Round of 16: Inter Milan vs Atletico Madrid Preview & Confirmed Lineups

Grinding or Glory: Inter Milan Aims to Seal Champions League Fate Against Defensive Stalwarts Atletico Madrid

The San Siro braces itself for a high-stakes clash as Inter Milan hosts Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie. With the score locked at 1-1 after a tense first leg in Madrid, both teams have everything to play for.

A Tale of Two Approaches

Inter Milan under Simone Inzaghi embodies a brand of attacking football. Lautaro Martinez and the in-form Thuram will spearhead the attack, aiming to exploit any gaps in Atletico's resolute defense. Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella will be crucial in orchestrating attacks and supplying the creative spark for the Nerazzurri.

Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, thrives under Diego Simeone's pragmatic approach. They will likely set up in a compact 4-4-2 formation, aiming to frustrate Inter with their aggressive pressing and organized defense. Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata will be the focal point in attack, looking to capitalize on any counter-attacking opportunities.

Key Players in the Spotlight

  • Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan): The Argentine striker thrives in big games. His finishing prowess and ability to link up with teammates will be crucial for Inter's attacking threat.
  • Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid): The experienced center-back will be tasked with marshalling the Atletico defense and keeping Lautaro Martinez and Thuram quiet.
  • Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter Milan): The Turkish playmaker's set-piece delivery and creativity in midfield will be vital for unlocking the Atletico defense.
  • Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid): The Frenchman's experience on the big stage and his ability to create something out of nothing could be a game-changer for Atletico.

Injury Concerns and Tactical Tweaks

Inter Milan will be without the services of Marcelo Brozovic, who has been a vital cog in their midfield. Inzaghi might look to Matteo Darmian as a replacement, offering more defensive solidity. Atletico Madrid will be missing Jose Maria Gimenez, a key figure in their backline. Felipe could slot in alongside Savic in central defense.

A Night of Intrigue and High Tension

The first leg was a tight affair, and the return match promises to be just as close. Inter Milan, with their home advantage and attacking prowess, will be the slight favorites. However, Atletico Madrid's defensive resilience and experience in knockout stages cannot be ignored. The outcome of the match could hinge on which team makes the most of their chances and maintains discipline throughout the match.

Confirmed Lineups:

Inter Milan (3-5-2):

  • Yann Sommer (GK)
  • Matteo Darmian (RWB)
  • Stefan de Vrij (CB)
  • Alessandro Bastoni (CB)
  • Federico Dimarco (LWB)
  • Nicolo Barella (CM)
  • Hakan Calhanoglu (CM)
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan (CM)
  • Denzel Dumfries (RW)
  • Lautaro Martinez (ST)
  • Marcus Thuram (ST)

Atletico Madrid (4-4-2):

  • Jan Oblak (GK)
  • Nahuel Molina (RB)
  • Felipe (CB)
  • Stefan Savic (CB)
  • Mario Hermoso (LB)
  • Koke (CM)
  • Rodrigo De Paul (CM)
  • Saul Niguez (CM)
  • Yannick Carrasco (LW)
  • Antoine Griezmann (ST)
  • Alvaro Morata (ST)