Inter have been without a win for six competitive games. The last three came at the beginning of March at home against Lecce (2-0). This was followed by an away bankruptcy in La Spezia (1:2), at least they didn’t lose the three guest games that followed. And a draw could already be a valuable result today. Nationally, the Scudetto is practically awarded to Napoli. Of course, the Nerazzurri also want to play in the Champions League next season. And the Italian runner-up is currently one point behind. One title has already been won this year – the Supercup against city rivals Milan (3:0). And as a cup defender you are in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, taking a 1-1 draw with you in the second leg against Juventus at home.
In the Champions League, the Portuguese record champions, who finished third last season, had to start in the third qualifying round. Against FC Midtjylland and then in the playoffs against Dinamo Kiev, they didn’t let anything go by with four wins. They also remained undefeated in the group stage, beating Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus Turin and Maccabi Haifa. Only in the games against PSG did you drop points (each 1:1). In the round of 16 against FC Brugge, Benfica confidently asserted themselves 2-0 and 5-1. The club is now in the quarter-finals of the premier class for the sixth time and would like to go beyond it for the first time. The big international successes were a long time ago. They won the European Cup in 1961 and 1962. After that, the club from Portugal’s capital played eight more European Cup finals and always drew the short straw.
This clash pits the Portuguese Primeira Liga leaders against those currently fifth in Italy’s Serie A. Although Benfica lost 2-1 at home to champions Porto on Friday, Benfica still have a seven-point lead over their rivals and closest pursuers. After all, such slip-ups were rare this season. Although they have already been eliminated from the national cup competitions, they only lost a game against Sporting Braga in early February – and that on penalties. The last league defeat before the encounter on Friday was against that club. This goes back to the end of December. Since then there has been a 2-2 draw against Sporting. Apart from all the results mentioned here so far, everything else has also been won internationally.
Compared to the last league game, Roger Schmidt sees himself forced to make two changes. Gilberto and Morato replaced Alexander Bah (knee injury) and Nicolás Otamendi (suspended) in the Lisbon starting XI today. Simone Inzaghi makes five impressive changes. Stefan de Vrij, Robin Gosens, Kristjan Asllani, Joaquín Correa and Romelu Lukaku can be found on the bench. In return, Federico Dimarco, Alessandro Bastoni, Marcelo Brozović, Edin Džeko and Lautaro Martínez slip into the Milan starting line-up.
Welcome to the Champions League! In the premier class, the quarter-finals are on the program this week. At this point we dedicate ourselves to the match between Benfica Lisbon and Inter Milan. The kick-off is scheduled for 21:00 CEST.