Inter Milan will entertain Porto at the San Siro in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday (February 22). Inter finished second in Group C, behind Bayern Munich, while Porto won Group B, ahead of Atletico Madrid, Club Brugge and Bayer Leverkusen.
The Nerazzurri are on a five-game unbeaten run across competitions and are coming off a 3-1 Serie A home win over Udinese. Romelu Lukaku put Inter ahead in the 20th minute from the spot before Henrikh Mkhitaryan restored Inter’s lead. Lautaro Martínez confirmed the hosts’ win in the second half.
Porto, meanwhile, have kicked off 2023 on a positive note, winning all but one of their games across competitions. They defeated Rio Ave 1-0 at home in the Primeira Liga at the weekend, thanks to a 44th-minute Toni Martínez strike.
Inter have kept clean sheets in three of their last four games across competitions. They have won 11 of their last 12 games at home and have won both previous meetings at the San Siro against Porto.
While they have been inconsistent this season, they have home advantage in the first leg, which could come in handy.
Porto, meanwhile, have won their last ten games and won their last two away outingsin the Champions League by an aggregate 7-0 scoreline. They have a lengthy injury list at the moment, which could snap their long unbeaten run.
Nevertheless, it should be a closely contested affair. Considering the form of both teams, a low-scoring draw could ensue.
Prediction: Inter Milan 1-1 Porto
This match will start from 1:30 am
This match will take place on 23 February 2023
Nearly blessed with a full complement of players, Inter coach Inzaghi should only be without thigh victim Joaquin Correa for the visit of Porto, but the Nerazzurri boss is facing quite the attacking quandary either way.
A well-rested Martinez can expect to return to the two-man strikeforce in Inzaghi’s 3-5-2 formation, and a reinvigorated Lukaku may just edge out Edin Dzeko, despite the latter’s three goals and assist in the group stage.
The trio of Hakan Calhanoglu, Milan Skriniar and goalkeeper Andre Onana should also come into the fray after being rested at the weekend, forcing Matteo Darmian, Mkhitaryan and wily veteran Samir Handanovic out of the XI.
In contrast, Porto manager Conceicao is working around a mini injury crisis for the trip to Italy, with all of Evanilson, Fabio Cardoso, Gabriel Veron and Francisco Meixedo expected to miss out.
Onana; Skriniar, Bastoni, Acerbi; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Brozovic, Dimarco; Lukaku, Martinez
Costa; Mario, Pepe, Carmo, Sanusi; Franco, Eustaquio, Grujic, Pepe; Taremi, Namaso
We say: Inter Milan 1-0 Porto
Pitting two of Europe’s tightest rearguards against one another should inevitably lead to a closely-contested affair, and Porto have overcome adversity with vigour during their injury crisis.
However, Conceicao’s growing fitness concerns may ultimately count against him at the San Siro fortress, where Inzaghi’s side can break down the staunch Dragons backline and end their visitors’ unbeaten streak to take a slender advantage to Portugal for the second leg.
Tip 1: Result – Draw
Tip 2: Goals – Over/Under 2.5 Goals – Under 2.5
Tip 3: At least a goal to be scored in the first half – Yes
Tip 4: Lautaro Martínez to score or assist any time – Yes
Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats, suggests the most likely outcome of this match is a Inter Milan win with a probability of 41.23%. A win for Porto has a probability of 31.38% and a draw has a probability of 27.4%.
The most likely scoreline for a Inter Milan win is 1-0 with a probability of 11.7%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome are 2-1 (8.47%) and 2-0 (7.66%). The likeliest Porto win is 0-1 (9.89%), while for a drawn scoreline it is 1-1 (12.93%).
All matches of the Champions League season 2022-2023 will have a live broadcast on Sony Sports Network in India.
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