We have been given the treat of an all-Milan fixture for the upcoming semi-final matches in the Champions League. Fans always love to see a close derby in these knockout games, with the winner of this tie facing the winner of Real Madrid or Manchester City in the final. Most people believe that Real Madrid or Manchester will be the favourite going into the final, but these two Italian clubs will be looking to bring pride to the country and be the first Italian club to win the Champions League since 2010.
Inter were the last Italian team to win the Championship League, doing so under the memorable leadership of Jose Mourinho in the 2010 final victory over Bayern Munich. Milan won three years before in a win over Liverpool, achieving redemption for their loss to Liverpool in 2005, where Liverpool made one of the greatest comebacks in football history, coming back from 3-0 to 3-3 and winning on penalties. This years final will take place in Istanbul, the same city in which Milan was scarred by this amazing comeback, so if they make it to the final there will be even more reason for them to achieve a victory. Since Inter’s victory in 2010, Juventus have been the only Italian team to reach the Champions League final, twice, in 2015 and in 2017, losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid in these ties and failing to bring the trophy back to Italy.
This game will be a hard one to decide whom to back, most legitimate sportsbooks will show mixed odds for this one, as it is going to be one close game. However, observing other games, there are loads of promising odds to bet on with certainty, for example, Leeds v Leicester on April 25th, with Leeds at +125 and Leicester at +210. This would be a great time to back a winner! The irony of the two Milan teams is that both are struggling more so in the league this year. Meaning that they need to do even better in the champions league now in order to qualify for the competition next year. Qualification for the tournament will have a big effect on both Milan’s and Inter’s future.
Inter’s Road to The Semi-Finals
Inter finished second in Serie A in the 2021-22 season and won the Copa Italia, with this leading them to qualify for the 2022-23 Champions League campaign. They looked to improve upon their round of 16 knockout defeat in the previous tournament. This year, they finished 2nd in what was a very tough group, with Bayern Munich 1st, Barcelona finishing 3rd and moving down to the Europa League and Viktoria Plzen finishing 4th.
Inter then faced Porto in the first knockout round, the clash of Mourinho’s Champions League-winning underdogs. They won one game 1-0 and drew the other 0-0 advancing them into the next round where they faced Benfica, winning one game 2-0 and drawing the other 3-3, going through with a 5-3 aggregate victory.
Milan’s Road To The Semi-Finals
Milan won Serie A in the 2021-22 season for the first time since the 2010-11 season. As Inter Milan finished on 10 points in their Champions League group and advanced in the 2nd place, the same to be said about Milan in their group, with Chelsea in top spot, Red Bull Salzburg 3rd and Dinamo Zagreb in 4th place. Milan played Tottenham Hotspur in the first knockout round, winning one game 1-0 and drawing the other 0-0. They then faced fellow Italian team Napoli, who were the favourite going into the game as they were top of the league in Italy at the time.
If you look at the journey the teams have taken to get to the semi-finals, you will see it is exactly the same. They both finished 2nd in their group. They both had 10 points in the group. In the first knockout round they both won 1-0 followed by a 0-0. Then in the next round, they both won the first game then drew the second. These two teams are very well matched to each other going into this semi-final which is destined to be a very close time.
Both teams have star players, however, AC Milan may be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has not played as much as they would have hoped this season, having only played four games. However, it should not be too much of a loss as Milan will have France striker Oliver Giroud leading the lines, with former Arsenal and Chelsea man having scored a vital goal in the second leg of the Napoli v Milan game. The two will face for what could be the last time in the famous San Siro. Milan also has Fikayo Tomori in their side, with the English centre-back being a big talking point in his home country right now and looking to shine on the biggest stage of his career yet. The two clubs share a stadium which has been listed to be knocked down and rebuilt in the future. So this could be a truly historic fixture for the teams.