Borussia Monchengladbach will take on Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, knowing that a win would already see the host through to the knockout round with one game to spare. A draw would be enough as well, presuming Shakhtar loses to Real Madrid in the other Group B game.
Gladbach has been very solid in the Champions League so far, and with a bit of luck they could have had maximum points in four games. The Germans started with two 2-2 draws against Inter and Real Madrid, each time being equalized in injury time, before destroying Shakhtar 6-0 away and 4-0 at home. In the Bundesliga Gladbach is 7th with 15 points in 9 matches, but is undefeated at home and won 4-1 against Schalke over the weekend.
October and November have been two months to forget for Inter Milan fans, as their team recorded just 3 wins in 11 matches in all competitions and has almost fallen out of contention in the Champions League – where they only recorded two draws in four games, against Shakhtar and Gladbach. As such, Inter has no other option but to win tonight in Germany if they are to have a chance of qualifying further in the competition. They will be encouraged by a 3-0 win over Sassuolo over the weekend (their second win in a row in Serie A).
Team news & lineups:
Gladbach will miss Hofmann and Bensebaini, but will get back Alassane Plea, who could reclaim his starting spot up front from Breel Embolo. Inter is dealing with bigger issues, as they are set to miss Vecino, Vidal, Brozovic, Kolarov, Padelli and possibly Nainggolan.
Borussia Monchengladbach: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt – Kramer, Neuhaus – Lazaro, Stindl, Thuram – Plea
Inter Milan: Handanovic – Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni – Hakimi, Barella, Gagliardini, Sensi, Young – Lukaku, Martinez
Despite a big win over Sassuolo at the weekend, Inter is not quite having its best moments lately and the atmosphere in the club isn’t the best. It would be fair to say they are not a better team than Gladbach at the moment – which could be seen in the first leg, when the Germans almost won in Italy.
On top of it all, Inter has big problems in midfield for this game, with Vidal, Brozovic and Vecino out, and Nainggolan questionable. It will not be easy to take on an in form team like Gladbach on the road with all those issues in the most important area of the field.
Gladbach is in good form, has played great in the Champions League so far and is undefeated at home in all competitions since May – even with the absence of fans. It is likely they will only need a draw to qualify (Shakhtar plays earlier in the day and it’s hard to see them beating Real Madrid again). In these conditions, without the immediate pressure to win, Gladbach should be able to play a smart tactical game, taking advantage of Inter’s desperation.
With a smart setup, pace, pressing and good ball transition, you can see how Gladbach might take advantage of that makeshift Inter midfield and control the game tactically.
Odds 1.70 for Gladbach to win or draw seem very sexy to me, so that’s the bet I am going to take. At the end of the day they haven’t lost at home in ages, and Inter doesn’t look that scary. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach – Inter Milan 3-2.