Real Madrid would be boosting with confidence a Romelu Lukaku-less Inter Milan ahead of tonight’s clash in the Champions League.
The Galacticos will also be looking for their first Champions League victory of the season when they welcome the Italian giant to the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Tuesday night.
Inter on the other hand is yet to record win as well in the tournament after drawing their first two games against Borussia Monchenglabach and Shaktar Donetsk.
Unfortunately, they would have to play the host, which recently defeated Huesca 4-1 on the same turf at the weekend without their best player so far. Lukaku has already bagged two goals in two games played in the competition and five in five Serie A games has been firing from all cylinders.
Meanwhile, the hosts also have one point from two games after suffering a surprise 2-3 defeat at home against the Ukrainian champions and came back to record a 2-2 draw against Monchengladbach after being down with two goals. The result leaves Les Blancos at the bottom of the section, while Inter occupies third.
Real Madrid v Inter Milan Champions League: Fully fit Hazard returns for Madrid as Inter misses Lukaku
This is expected to be another test for Eden Hazard who scored his first goal of the year during the weekend.
The Belgian has announced that he is now ready to show value for the huge amount the Les Merengues paid for his service from Chelsea.
Unfortunately, he won’t be able to face his national teammate, Lukaku, who has been left home due to an injury he sustained in the last round match. He was sorely missed in their last Serie A game which they drew 2-2 against Parma t the San Siro. The result left them fifth on the Serie A table after six games.
He could be the key to breaking Madrid’s four-game winless run in the Champions League, having also lost twice to Manchester City in the last-16 stage of last season’s competition.
Madrid still have the chance to qualify from the group. This makes them fancy their chances. It means they will have to defeat Antonio Conte’s men to announce that they mean business.
A win here will be huge for Zinedine Zidane’s men, who are the most successful team in the history of the competition with 13 trophies. This will give them the confidence to go into the remaining games before traveling to the San Siro in their next European clash at the end of November.
Having reached the Europa Legue final last season, Inter will also fancy their chances against the La Liga champiuons.
If a Shakhtar team that has many COVID-19 cases could get a victory at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium, Inter can.
Inter would have fancied their chances of picking up maximum points from their first two games, knowing the kind of group they are, but failed to do so. Now they will have to face a difficult opponent like Madrid, which is going to be their biggest test so far this season. The hard part is this would be done without their in-form striker.
Inter’s next two game which is a double header against Madrid will determine their fate in this group ahead of their final two group matches away to Gladbach and at home to Shakhtar in the early stages of December.
Madrid v Inter: Injury news and likely starting line-up
Nacho, Martin Odegaard, and Dani Carvajal are on the treatment table while Alvaro Odriozola and Lucas Vazquez are a doubt due to calf and muscle problems respectively.
The Spanish club’s issues in defense have also intensified, leaving Zidane with the option of Ferland Mendy as a right-back with Marcelo on the left.
Toni Kroos, who was brought in from the bench at the weekend should come into the XI tonight, while Hazard could start again alongside Marco Asensio and Benzema as a front three.
Eder Militao won’t be part of the squad as he continues his isolation due to a positive COVID-19 result.
As for Inter, Alexis Sanchez has recovered from injury and he is expected to start alongside Lautaro Martinez in the front line. Nicola Barella is expected to play behind the two strikers
Arturo Vidal, Marcelo Brozovic, and Ashley Young are expected to start against the Whites. Ivan Perisic could be starting from the wings as well.
Danilo D’Ambrosio could be part of the back three alongside Danilo D’Ambrosio, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni ahead of Samir Handanovic in goal.
Real Madrid likely starting lineup:
Courtois; Mendy, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Hazard, Benzema, Asensio
Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Vidal, Perisic; Sanchez, Martinez