In the early hours of May 17th, the second leg of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League semi-finals is about to kick off. In the first match, Inter Milan faced AC Milan at home and took a 2-0 lead in the away game. Veteran players, Dzeko and Mkhitaryan, scored two goals within the first 15 minutes, securing the victory. With the advantage of playing at home in this leg, Inter Milan is in excellent form, performing well in both the league and the Champions League. It is expected that the Nerazzurri will smoothly reach the final.
On the other side of the fixture, Manchester City will return to their home stadium to face Real Madrid. In the first leg, the match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Vinicius Junior and De Bruyne each scoring a goal in the first and second half, respectively. Real Madrid missed an opportunity to secure a victory at the Bernabeu, which puts them at a slight disadvantage. Although Real Madrid is skilled in defense and counter-attacks, Manchester City, with the advantage of playing at home in the second leg, seems to have a slight edge.
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Inter Milan continues its winning streak
The UEFA Champions League is in full swing, and after the first leg results, the current popular title odds provided by bookmakers for the four teams are as follows: Manchester City 60%, Inter Milan 18%, Real Madrid 18%, and AC Milan with only 3%. In terms of the results, Inter Milan has already taken a 2-goal lead, which means AC Milan needs to score at least 2 goals to level the playing field. However, looking at Inter Milan’s recent statistics, their win rate is only 30% in the last 10 matches, scoring 9 goals and conceding 8 goals, which is far behind Inter Milan.
Inter Milan has recently achieved 7 consecutive wins in various competitions, scoring 26 goals and conceding only 7 goals. Their form is impressive. Looking at the recent match scores, Inter Milan always starts with a 2-goal lead. It is expected that they will continue to score in the second leg, which is a headache for AC Milan with their lack of firepower. However, AC Milan must take the initiative to attack.
Based on the statistics of this season’s UEFA Champions League, Inter Milan ranks high in tackle, save, and clearance data, especially in defensive capabilities. Although they may not have the same level of ferocity in the attacking end as Erling Haaland, they are more than capable of dealing with AC Milan. Coach Simone Inzaghi has solidified the team’s lineup, and if they win this match, he will become the fifth Italian coach to lead an Italian team to the Champions League final. Inter Milan excels in high pressing, regaining possession, and triggering attacks from the flanks. They can quickly regain the ball at an average distance of 38.5 meters from their own goal and launch counter-attacks. Their depth in clearances ranks 5th this season.
Under Simone Inzaghi’s guidance, Inter Milan’s attacking play often originates from the left flank, where the connection between players like Di Marco, Bastoni, and Barella has been highly effective. If AC Milan wants to find a breakthrough, it is necessary to closely monitor the left side. However, AC Milan’s defense is in need of reinforcements, with several key players injured, including veteran Zlatan Ibrahimović with a calf injury, and doubts over the availability of Leão and Messias due to suspected injuries. The result of the Milan Derby seems almost inevitable.
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Real Madrid stages a comeback to advance
The second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals will also take place in the early hours of the 18th. Manchester City, known as the “Blue Moon,” will host Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw, but in reality, Real Madrid is slightly at a disadvantage. They had fewer opportunities in front of the goal, relying heavily on goalkeeper Courtois to make several crucial saves to maintain the draw. Although defender Varane successfully defended Erling Haaland, it is unlikely that the astute Pep Guardiola will let him have another quiet performance in consecutive matches. Moreover, City has midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne. When he faces his arch-rival Courtois, his desire to score may become even stronger. Manchester City’s attacking firepower is favored in this regard.
Although Real Madrid couldn’t gain an advantage in the first leg, they are known for staging dramatic comebacks, especially in the second half. Looking closely, Manchester City’s offensive line relies heavily on Haaland and De Bruyne. While City’s tactical changes and possession play are impressive, Real Madrid is not to be underestimated in big matches. After the first leg battle, it is believed that manager Carlo Ancelotti has devised a strategy. Real Madrid has already announced their starting lineup, with forwards Benzema, Vinicius, Asensio, and Rodrigo leading the attack, and the midfield and defense consisting of their key players, including Modric, Kroos, and the young goal scorer Camavinga. The defense includes Mendy, Varane, and Alaba.
The current betting odds heavily favor Manchester City to advance. However, if Real Madrid can successfully contain Haaland, their chances of winning will increase significantly. We have a different stance from the general betting market and believe in the victory of the Galacticos, Real Madrid, and their smooth progression to the UEFA Champions League final. As long as they can withstand Manchester City, the Champions League trophy will be within their reach.
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