Inter Milan vs Atletico Madrid Prediction: Simeone won’t park the bus

 | February 19 | 

5 mins read

san siro inter ac milan scaled

Inter Milan made it all the way to the Champions League Final a year ago and if they are to do so again, they face a tough challenge just to get out of the Round of 16.

Our Italian Football expert though is confident that they will have a good start in the first-leg of their tie, as he takes us through his Inter Milan vs Atlético Madrid predictions in his match preview...

Inter Milan vs Atlético Madrid Betting Tips:

  • Back Inter Milan to score first @ 4/7
  • Back Inter Milan to win & Both Teams to Score @ 3/1

A comfortable win apiece last weekend was the best preparation ahead of the most balanced amongst all Champions League knockout ties.

However since the draw was made in December the momentum has certainly swung in favour of last years’ finalists despite Los Colchoneros have topped their qualifying group.

In fact Inter are on a perfect run in 2024 having won their last eight games, including the SuperCoppa Italiana final, and have nine points advantage in the table on Juventus with a game in hand.

Atlético on the other hand have played way more matches in the new year (12) than Inter, lost four of them and find themselves far from leaders Real Madrid.

Interestingly the two managers, Simone Inzaghi and Diego Simeone, who once shared the dressing room at Lazio in the early 2000s, chose opposite approaches to turnover ahead of this match.

Perhaps because his team was called in action 24 hours before Atlético, Inzaghi played the vast majority of his key men against bottom of the table Salernitana on Friday.

Inter, whose main objective for this season remains winning the Scudetto, comfortably won 4-0 but could have scored at least twice as many.

On Saturday Simeone did not use Antoine Griezmann against Las Palmas and introduced Rodrigo De Paul and Memphis Depay only in the second half when the score was already settled.

The Frenchman, who recently looked tired after playing almost every minute this season, is the player around who Atlético Madrid develops its game. On Tuesday his role will be even more important given the absence, due to injury, of his goalscoring partner Alvaro Morata.

El Cholo, also a former Inter player for two seasons, knows too well that his side can’t just set up defensively at San Siro where Inter have been almost merciless in this campaign.

In fact this Atletico Madrid’s backline is nowhere near as tight as it was in the golden years of Cholismo, where the Spaniards were able to stifle Europe’s elite teams.

Atlético this season have got real problems playing away from the Wanda Metropolitano: they’ve lost five of their last seven games and have only kept five clean sheets.

Inter on the other hand will be aware of Atleti’s extraordinary form in front of their home crowd. Travelling to Spain’s capital in March with a deficit to overcome might be almost mission impossible.

So the Nerazzurri would need to get a win and possibly a large one, something that, for all their merits in the last two campaigns, they haven’t often achieved in Europe.

In fact, they’ve only won one (4-0 against Viktoria Plzen) of their last nine home Champions League games by more than one goal margin.

Team News:

Simone Inzaghi will only make two changes from the side that won on Friday.

Federico Dimarco will return at left wing-back in place of Carlos Augusto and Matteo Darmian will replace Denzel Dumfries on the opposite flank.

For Atlético the presence of Griezman, De Paul and Depay in the starting eleven is certain, although Marcos Llorente, who scored a brace against Las Palmas, might also be in contention in place of the Dutchman or on the right flak.

Axel Witsel might start at centre-back instead of Stefan Savic.

Morata, Lemar, Azpilicueta and Gabriel Paulista are not available due to injury in the visitors’ camp; Francesco Acerbi and Juan Cuadrado are not available for Inter.

Inter Milan vs Atlético Madrid Odds:

The hosts are favourite (4/5) to win the first leg of the Round of 16, but that’s one of the biggest prices for a home win this season for the current Serie A leaders.

This season they’ve only dropped points against Sassuolo, Bologna and Real Sociedad at San Siro, failing to score only against the Spaniards.

The draw pays well (13/5), the odds for an Atlético’s win are also very high (18/5).

Los Colchoneros have only won one of their three away games in the group stages this season, and in the 2022/2023 they were defeated in all their three matches away from home.

The odds for Under 2.5 goals (4/6) and Over 2.5 (11/10) are almost identical.

Inter have got Italy’s best attack and defence, and have kept 18 clean sheets in all competitions.

But Atlético, unlike the hosts, have scored in every single Champions League game this year, and average 1.5 goals away from home in La Liga, but will be without their top goalscorer (Morata, 19 goals).

Bet 1 - Inter to score first @ 4/7

The hosts have got a habit of starting home games strongly.

In Serie A they took the lead in 23 out of 24 matches and at San Siro have scored inside the first 15 minutes in four occasions.

Away from home Atlético have stumbled in more than one occasion: in La Liga they’ve failed to score five times and have been behind after the first 45 minutes in five occasions.

Bet 2 - Inter to win and both team to score @ 3/1

But Diego Simeone won’t just sit deep and defend, Atlético simply don’t have the defensive strength to do so. They’ll try to press Inter in their own half and create problems with Depay and Griezman movements off the ball.

The three Atlético Madrid away games this season have produced 10 goals in total.

Inter have come out stronger from a tough run of fixtures in January and February and look in perfect mental and physical conditions ahead of this clash.

Daniele Fisichella is our Italian Football expert and he's part of our Football Betting Tips team here at Betfred Insights...

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