Inter vs Viktoria Plzen : Match preview and possible lineups

Last Updated on 25/10/2022 by

Inter Milan will host pointless Viktoria Plzen at San Siro on Wednesday as they get ready to advance to the knockout round of the Champions League for the second consecutive season.

Inter can clinch advancement with a third victory from five Group C games after taking four points from Barcelona in two thrilling matches; Plzen are out of the running but could still secure a Europa League spot with an unlikely turn of events.

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After a slow start to the season, Inter has recently found their stride, winning four of their last five games, including two memorable matches against a revitalised Barcelona.

The Nerazzurri came within touching distance of a historic victory and a guaranteed spot in the round of 16 two weeks ago at Camp Nou, and were only denied victory by Robert Lewandowski’s late equaliser.

Even though Inter’s 3-3 draw with their opponents for second place in Group C, behind runaway leaders Bayern Munich, appeared to give them a back-to-back victory, goals from Nicolo Barella, Lautaro Martinez, and substitute Robin Gosens appeared to seal the deal. However, Inter still holds the head-to-head advantage. They can therefore guarantee a valuable spot in the last 16 with a victory this week.

In fact, they will still advance if they draw and Barcelona loses; alternatively, Inter would automatically advance should Xavi’s team lose to Bayern.

Simone Inzaghi will want to prevent his team from needing help from the Bundesliga champions, and after losing just twice in their previous nine group games in the Champions League, both times to eventual champions Real Madrid last year and Bayern this season, history suggests they can succeed.

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The only time Inter and Plzen have faced off, it was on matchday two, and the Nerazzurri, who are currently in fine form, are predicted to win once more.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the game-winning goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time to give Inzaghi’s team their most recent victory, a thrilling 4-3 victory at Fiorentina on Saturday. This follows victories over Sassuolo and Salernitana.

Plzen will need to make history in order to stay in the mix come next week’s final matchday of the Champions League or European Cup as it now takes snookers to even take third place in an extremely difficult group. No Czech team has ever won away to a Serie A club throughout 10 prior Champions League or European Cup games.

Plzen also lost three of their four matches in Italy, and they enter this match against Milan without having earned a point after four games. The Czech champions have also lost to Inter at home, lost to Bayern twice (5-0 and 4-2), and were destroyed 5-1 at Camp Nou.

As a result, they are already unable to reach the last 16 but can theoretically finish third and reach the Plzen also lost three of their four matches in Italy, and they enter this match against Milan without having earned a point after four games. The Czech champions have also lost to Inter at home, lost to Bayern twice (5-0 and 4-2), and were destroyed 5-1 at Camp Nou.

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Plzen have now lost 15 of their 22 group games in Europe’s top club competition following their discouraging experiences this year; only Dinamo Zagreb have a higher percentage of losses than their 68% among clubs that have played at least 20 times.

Michal Bilek’s team has struggled to even hold onto the ball thus far, averaging just 28% possession, the lowest percentage recorded since such records began in 2003.

Plzen, who has gone 33 games without a loss in the Czech First League, looks well-positioned to defend their domestic championship after winning each of their last three games to sit four points clear at the top. However, their 3-2 loss to FC Hlucin, a third-tier team, on Wednesday resulted in a disastrous cup exit for them.

If they want to continue their most recent European adventure, they will now need to pull off a likewise  suprise at San Siro.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan should once more fill in for the injured Marcelo Brozovic in the midfield, but Inter can still include Romelu Lukaku in their lineup on Wednesday despite the fact that the Croatian is still sidelined with a thigh injury.

After a six-week absence, the loanee striker is back, but he should sit on the sidelines. As a result, Simone Inzaghi must decide between Edin Dzeko and Joaquin Correa to partner the talented striker Lautaro Martinez in attack.

The latter has registered more goals for the Nerazzurri compared to any other player since making his Champions League debut in 2018 (eight). However, San Siro’s last one was about three years ago.

Roberto Gagliardini, a midfielder, should also return, but Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, and weekend game-winner Mkhitaryan are anticipated to form the hosts’ central trio.

After having lost to part-timers in the Czech Cup, Plzen made several changes on Saturday, and a strong team started the 3-1 victory over Banik Ostrava.

However, because Michal Bilek switches to playing as a lone striker while away from home in Europe, Jan Kliment and Tomas Chory, who scored against Bayern last time out in the Champions League, may find their strike partnership broken up. Fortune Bassey is also a candidate to play up front. In a likely 4-2-3-1 formation, long-time veteran Lukas Hejda captains the team from centre back.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Onana; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Gosens; Martinez, Edin Dzeko

Viktoria Plzen possible starting lineup:
Stanek; Havel, Lukas Hejda, Pernica, Jemelka; Kalvach, Bucha; Kopic, Vlkanova, Mosquera; Chory

Plzen vs Inter previous meetup

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