Inter Milan will be looking to cause an all-time Champions League shock as they face Manchester City in the 2022/23 Champions League final in Istanbul on June 10.
Simone Inzaghi’s team have shown grit and quality on the road to the final, but they are firm underdogs against a City team pushing for a trophy treble and their first Champions League crown.
Pep Guardiola can call on some of the leading players in world football, whereas Inazghi’s focus will be on the collective as he plots a bold plan to win big in Turkey.
Lautaro Martinez has been the shining light in Inzaghi’s attack, but the defensive solidity offered by Andre Onana and Francesco Acerbi will be crucial for the Italian side.
Inter Milan team news ahead of Champions League final
Inzaghi is under no illusion over the size of the task facing his team in the final, with the former striker labelling City as the “strongest team in the world” ahead of their meeting.
However, his priority will be retaining cohesion in his team, despite claiming he is yet to make up his mind on a starting XI.
“Lukaku or Dzeko? I have not decided. I haven’t decided on midfield or defence either,” he said. “Right now, I have the possibility to choose and that’s the best situation to be in. There are still four training sessions left before the final, and a coach can have news ideas, and maybe something changes your mind.”
Despite Inzaghi’s cryptic answer over his final plan, the former Lazio boss has been a creature of habit in the Champions League knockout stages, with a rigid 3-5-2 system.
Onana has started all six of Inter’s Champions League games in 2023, with a superb record of five clean sheets, with the same defensive trio starting five of those six games.
André Onana is the first Inter goalkeeper to keep 7 clean sheets in a single Champions League campaign.
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 10, 2023
Milan Skriniar has been given a slim chance of returning for the final, but Inzaghi looks ready to hand the battle hardened Acerbi the challenge of shackling Erling Haaland.
Four of the same midfield five have started all six of those games as part of a unified approach from Inzaghi, with a choice between Hakan Calhaoglu and Marcelo Brozovic the only real debate.
The front pair of Edin Dzeko and Martinez have started all of Inter’s key European ties in the final run-in, with Romelu Lukaku replacing Dzeko in all six and Joaquin Correa a frequent late refresher for Martinez.
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 17, 2023
All the signs point to Dzeko facing his former side from the start, with Lukaku in reserve as Correa faces a fitness race.
Inter Milan projected Champions League starting lineup vs Man City
Inter Milan starting 11
Inter Milan lineup (3-5-2): Onana (GK) — Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni — Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco — Martinez, Dzeko
Inter Milan squad 2022/23
Inzaghi has shown faith with a consistent core of around 15 players for the majority of the season but he has a deep squad to pick from if needed against City.
|Position||Player||Age||National Team||International Caps||22/23 Inter Milan appearances|
|DEF||Stefan de Vrij||31||Netherlands||59||38|
|FWD||Edin Dzeko||37||Bosnia and Herzegovina||127||51|