Preview: Inter Milan vs. Benfica

Preview: Inter Milan vs. Benfica

Inter Milan return to Champions League action on Tuesday when they welcome Benfica to San Siro in matchday two.

Last season’s beaten finalists were held by Real Sociedad on matchday one, while the Portuguese outfit were stunned by Red Bull Salzburg.

Simone Inzaghi got criticism for rotating heavily for Inter’s opening game at Sociedad, but the Nerazzurri boss could lean on his tried and tested side against Benfica.

The star could be Lautaro Martinez, who netted the 87th-minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw with La Real at Anoeta and has been on fire at the start of the season.

Martinez was the game-changer for Inter in their Serie A victory over Salernitana on Saturday, coming on for the second half to score four times in the 4-0 triumph.

Inzaghi will hope his captain is at his best on Tuesday as the Nerazzurri look to get the better of a side they eliminated en route to last year’s continental success.

Inter’s European form at San Siro since losing 2-0 to Bayern Munich in September 2022 has seen them go five unbeaten, keeping four clean sheets, and they seek success this week against the only side they have not defeated in the ongoing undefeated run.

Benfica held Inzaghi’s men to a 3-3 draw in last season’s quarter-final clash at San Siro, although the Italian giants were 3-1 up on the night and 5-1 ahead on aggregate before Roger Schmidt’s team levelled.

The Portuguese outfit were beaten 2-0 by Salzburg in matchday one, ending the Eagles’ eight-game undefeated run in the group stage of the competition.

Schmidt’s men have claimed back-to-back league wins since that defeat, getting the better of Porto last time out to give the away side momentum before Tuesday’s encounter.

With Benfica currently fourth in Group D, another defeat leaves them playing catch-up early into the group phase, and it remains to be seen if they get the required result in Italy.

A late comeback on their last visit to Inter could be interpreted differently, even if the Portuguese side would look at it through the lenses of a comeback draw, and not considering that Inzaghi’s men were 5-1 up in the tie before two late goals made it 5-3.

Inter Milan Champions League form:

Inter Milan form (all competitions):

Benfica Champions League form:

Benfica form (all competitions):

We say: Inter Milan 3-1 Benfica
Inzaghi’s cup expertise means backing Inter to secure a win over Benfica is a safe bet, with the Nerazzurri extending their unbeaten run against the Portuguese outfit.

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