Manchester City vs Inter Milan: Line-ups
Man City set for Treble
For all of their Etihad excellence this term, Man City’s triumph at Wembley marked just their third win from their last seven games away from their headquarters, with Guardiola’s side failing to win either of their last two European road matches against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, but few Citizens supporters will be overly concerned with recent failures on Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford’s territory.
Scoring at least once in each of their last seven Champions League affairs, Man City could become the fourth team from England to lift the Champions League trophy aloft in the tournament’s current format. Only one other nation also boasts three previous victors in the competition, and they will be sending a crop of resilient representatives indeed.
Four months on from trouncing city rivals Milan 3-0 in the 2022-23 Supercoppa Italiana, Inter posted an identical triumph over their Rossoneri foes in the final four of the Champions League – albeit over 180 minutes rather than 90 this time around – to return to Europe’s grandest stage in some style.
Following a 2-0 first-leg success where they were billed as the ‘away’ team at San Siro, Inter extinguished any wafer-thin hopes of a Milan fightback through Lautaro Martinez’s second-half strike in the second leg on May 16, thereby advancing to a European final for the 11th time in their illustrious history.
Eight days later, Inter clinched a Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia double by putting Fiorentina to the sword 2-1 in the showpiece of the latter – the first of two final heartbreaks for the Viola, whose dreams of Europa Conference League glory ended in tears against West Ham United – and Inter will be out to avoid sharing the same fate as their Calcio counterparts when they step out for just their second Champions League final.
With Man City winning the ball back higher up the field on average than any other Champions League team this season, and Inter doing so closest to their goal, a classic attack-versus-defence encounter may ensue in Istanbul. The Nerazzurri’s counter-attacks can often prove devastating, though, and their recent purple patch in front of goal should also benefit their chances of breaching the Man City backline, but quelling Guardiola’s potent frontmen will be a different matter entirely. Despite Inter’s previous rearguard solidity in Europe, Guardiola’s charges possess the attacking wherewithal to finally propel themselves to European stardom and join their formerly noisy neighbours Man United in the exclusive treble-winning club.