Inter Milan will be confident of making it through to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2009-10 as they take on Benfica in the second leg of their quarter-final. Can they hold onto their two-goal lead? Find out with our Inter Milan vs Benfica prediction and preview.
Inter Milan vs Benfica: Quick Hits
- Inter Milan are the favourites to win this game and progress to the semi-finals with the Opta supercomputer (46.3%).
- Benfica have lost three competitive games in a row for the first time in four and a half years.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored nine goals in his last 11 UCL appearances for Inter.
- Bet365 have a new account offer ahead of this UCL tie.
Inter Milan will be confident of making it through to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2009-10, when they eventually won the competition under José Mourinho. With a 2-0 lead heading into the home leg of this quarter-final, coach Simone Inzaghi could be the first Italian to lead Inter to the semi-finals of the competition since Eugenio Bersellini in 1980-81.
Benfica will have to do something they’ve never done before to stand any chance of making the final four of the UCL this season: beat Inter. After the first leg, Benfica are winless in all four of their European competitive meetings with the Serie A side (L3 D1) and have failed to score in three of them.
History suggests it will be a tough ask for Benfica to turn this tie around. Inter Milan have never lost a two-legged European knockout tie having won the first leg by two or more goals, with the first leg of this tie being the ninth occasion that they’ve done it. Benfica have only ever turned around a European tie after losing the first leg by two or more goals on one occasion – eliminating FC Nürnberg at the quarter-final stage in 1961-62 despite losing the first leg 3-1 before winning the second leg 6-0.
Benfica are aiming to become just the third Portuguese club to make the UCL semi-finals, after FC Porto in 1993-94 and again in 2003-04. The 2004 edition of Porto went on to win the trophy that season.
Benfica 0-2 Inter Milan: 11 April 2023 (UEFA Champions League)
Inter head into this second leg with a two-goal lead after winning 2-0 at Estádio da Luz in the first game of this tie. Goals from Nicolò Barella and Romelu Lukaku gave the Italian giants a big advantage ahead of hosting the current Primeira Liga leaders in this match.
Barella’s goal was his first in 23 games for Inter, while it was also his first headed goal for the club. His strike was actually Internazionale’s first shot on target in the tie, coming in the 51st minute of the first leg. Lukaku then made in nine goals in his last 11 UCL games for Inter Milan with his 82nd-minute penalty.
Before this first leg, these two sides hadn’t met in a competitive fixture for 19 years, with the previous encounter coming in a seven-goal thriller back in March 2004. After drawing the first leg of their UEFA Cup last 16 tie 0-0 in Lisbon, the two sides met again just two weeks later at the San Siro for a chance to make the quarter-finals.
The only previous tie between these clubs in the UEFA Champions League/European Cup came in the 1965 final. Internazionale picked up their second European Cup crown after winning the 1963-94 competition with a 3-1 win over Real Madrid.
The 1965 final saw Inter have home advantage, with the final being played at the San Siro, Milan. They defeated Benfica – winners in both 1960-61 and 1961-62 – 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal from Brazilian Jair da Costa.
Neither side come into this game with ideal preparation, having both suffered shock 1-0 defeats in league competition at the weekend.
Internazionale lost 1-0 at home to 13th-place Monza on Saturday to continue their awful Serie A form. They are now winless in five league games, having lost against Spezia, Juventus, Fiorentina and Monza alongside an away draw at Salernitana. This is the first time that they have gone five without a win in Serie A since February 2018 (eight in a row), while the first leg win over Benfica is their only victory in their last eight competitive fixtures.
Benfica lost 1-0 away at Chaves in a shock league defeat this weekend – their third loss in a row following the 2-0 reverse at home to Inter in the first leg and a 2-1 home defeat against FC Porto on 7 April. This is the first time that Benfica have lost three successive games in all competitions since November 2018.
Inter Milan made it through the UCL group stages after finishing second in Group C behind Bayern Munich but ahead of Barcelona and Viktoria Plzeň. The Serie A side then set up this quarter-final tie against Benfica by defeating FC Porto in the last 16, winning 1-0 in the first leg at home before hanging on in Portugal and seeing out a goalless draw to send them through to the last eight.
Internazionale are unbeaten in their last four games in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League (W3 D1), while they haven’t conceded a goal in any of those. The Nerazzurri have kept four consecutive clean sheets in the knockout stages of the competition for the first time – bet365 are pricing them at 7/4 to keep a fifth successive UCL KO clean sheet in this match.
Roger Schmidt’s Benfica side stunned many by topping Group H ahead of Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain on the tiebreaker of away goals scored. They also finished ahead of Serie A side Juventus and Israeli team Maccabi Haifa in the standings. They then defeated Belgian side Club Brugge 7-1 on aggregate in the last 16 – including an emphatic 5-1 home win in the second leg – to set up this quarter-final tie.
Inter Milan: Romelu Lukaku
The last two seasons haven’t been the best for Lukaku. After an exceptional two-season spell at Inter across 2019-20 and 2020-21 in which he scored 64 goals in 95 games, he joined Chelsea for a hefty transfer fee and struggled for form in a system that didn’t suit him.
After 15 goals in 44 games, Chelsea sent him on loan back to Inter Milan for this season and his goal return hasn’t been anything like what the Inter fans previously witnessed – just seven in 24 games so far this season.
However, the Champions League seems to bring out the best in the Belgian striker.
He’s scored three goals across his last four games in the UEFA Champions League since re-joining Inter in the summer. Overall, Lukaku has scored nine times in 14 appearances for Internazionale in the UCL, with only four players now scoring more goals for the club in the competition – Adriano (14), Julio Cruz (13), Hernán Crespo (11) and Samuel Eto’o (10).
Lukaku will be looking to score in his fourth UCL game of 2022-23, something he’s only previously done once before in his career – his first season in the competition at Manchester United in 2017-18. He’s priced at 13/8 with bet365 to score in this match versus Benfica on Wednesday and is 9/2 to score the first goal.
Benfica: João Mário
If Benfica are to stand any chance of progressing through this tie after losing the first leg by two goals, they are going to need an experienced head to guide them.
João Mário will know the San Siro well, having played for Inter Milan across three seasons between 2016-17 and 2018-19 and the 30-year-old is now one of Benfica’s most influential players.
Only star striker Gonçalo Ramos (25) has more goals than João Mário (23) across all competitions this season, while six of those goals have come in the UCL in 2022-23. His goal output this season has surprised many, as he’d never previously scored more than seven competitive goals in a single campaign across his career since debuting for Sporting CP in 2011-12.
João Mário is also important as a creator for this Benfica side, with only Alejandro Grimaldo having more assists (eight) and chances created (56) than the Portuguese international in the Primeira Liga for Benfica this season (six assists, 48 chances created), while he’s also been integral to open play build-up to shots, having more than any other Benfica player across the league and Champions League in 2022-23 (207).
Inter Milan vs Benfica Prediction
The Opta supercomputer has Inter Milan as favourites for this second leg clash at the San Siro on Wednesday, with the home side given a 46.3% chance of victory. Benfica may have a 28.4% chance of winning on the night, but they need at least two goals to have any chance of making it to the semi-finals having lost the first leg 2-0 in Lisbon.
Manchester City are the favourites to win the title this season (44.7%), ahead of Real Madrid (17.2%) and Inter Milan (13.9%), while Bayern Munich (1.7%), Benfica (0.6%) and Chelsea (0.6%) are all but dead to the Opta supercomputer following their quarter-final first leg defeats.
Napoli (12.1%) and Milan (9.3%) face off in the second leg of their tie on Tuesday night and will face the winner of this match in the semi-finals, with a potential UCL Milan derby on the horizon.
Who do you think will win the UEFA Champions League in 2022-23? All the latest odds via bet365 are here.
Inter Milan vs Benfica UCL Squads
Inter Milan: Samir Handanovič, Alex Cordaz, André Onana, Nikolaos Botis*, Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij, Raoul Bellanova, Francesco Acerbi, Federico Dimarco, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Matteo Darmian, Milan Škriniar, Mattia Zanotti*, Alessandro Fontanarosa*, Alessandro Bastoni, Roberto Gagliardini, Robin Gosens, Kristjan Asllani, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nicolò Barella, Valentin Carboni*, Marcelo Brozović, Edin Džeko, Lautaro Martínez, Joaquín Correa, Romelu Lukaku.
Benfica: Samuel Soares, Leo Kokubo*, André Gomes*, Odysseas Vlachodimos, Gilberto, Alejandro Grimaldo, Lucas Verissimo, Alexander Bah, Mihailo Ristić, Nicolás Otamendi, Rafael Rodrigues*, António Silva*, Morato*, Fredrik Aursnes, João Mário, Chiquinho, Florentino, Cher N’Dour*, Zan Jevsenak*,João Neves*, David Neres, Gonçalo Guedes, Casper Tengstedt, Andreas Schjelderup, Rafa Silva, Petar Musa, Gerson Sousa*, Henrique Pereira*, Pedro Santos*, Gonçalo Ramos*, Luis Semedo*, Julian Draxler, Diego Moreira*.
*Player List B
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