Inter Milan vs Shakhtar Donetsk Preview
A spot in the Europa League 2019/20 final will be on the line when Inter Milan takes on Shakhtar Donetsk in Dusseldorf this Monday.
UEFA Europa League is on the cusp of drawing curtains for this season with only two games remaining. Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk lock horns in the second semi-final of the competition with a place in the finals up for a battle.
Inter Milan took the alternate route into the competition when they finished third in their UEFA Champions League group behind Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona. Since then, the Nerazzurri side has gone from strength to strength defeating Ludogorets, Getafe, and Bayer Leverkusen in the Round of 16.
Their game against Leverkusen was essentially all about the first half. Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku scored within six minutes of each other to take the game out of Peter Bosz’s hands. Similarly, Shakhtar finished third in their Champions League group denied a spot in the next round by Atalanta.
The Ukrainians were drawn against Benfica and did enough in their home leg to register a spot in the next round. Shakhtar managed five goals against the Germans over two legs before hitting Basel for four in a single game. The club now goes head-to-head with competition favorites, Inter Milan.
Inter Milan Team News
Antonio Conte has witnessed a significant blow ahead of the semis which comes in the form of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean picked up a strain in his hamstring against Leverkusen. He is therefore expected to miss the rest of Inter’s Europa League campaign.
Matias Vecino will be absent from the squad.
It is expected Conte will mirror his 3-5-2 from the game against Bayer Leverkusen. Samir Handanovic will take responsibility of the captain’s armband in the six-yard box. He will be screened by the back-three of Diego Godin, Stefan de Vrij, and Alessandro Bastoni. Milan Skriniar is in contention to start as well. However, it looks as if he will have to see the game out from the bench.
D’Ambrosio, Moses, and Candreva will compete for the right-back role as Moses is likely to get the nod ahead of the others courtesy of his solid 30-minute cameo in the quarters. Ashley Young, who turned his career around at Inter and there is no doubt about his spot on the left wing-back position.
Moses and Young will be the midfield trio of Barella, Brozovic, and Gagliardini. While neither of the three had a stand-out game against Leverkusen, they will retain their spot.
The dynamic duo of Martinez and Lukaku will be the starting strikers. Meanwhile, Conte will rely on Esposito as an option from the bench in the absence of Sanchez.
Shakhtar Donetsk Team News
Ismaily, Malyshev, Vakula, and Tankovskyi are still missing for Donetsk and will not participate against Inter Milan. Khocholava returns from his one-game suspension and will begin the game on the bench.
Moraes will retain his spot as the sole striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He will be aided by Marlos on his right and Taison on his left. Tete will start the game on the bench though expected to be called on at some point.
Patrick will occupy the No 10 playing off Moraes in a free role. Behind him is Antonio and Stepanenko who will play as the double pivot that screens the defense.
Kryvtsov and Bondar will assume responsibility in the heart of the defense. Moreover, Dodo and Matviyenko will provide the width from the back. The fort for Shakhtar will be held by Pyatov from between the posts.