Manchester City vs Inter Milan
The 2022-23 football season is set to reach a climax in Turkey on Saturday night and history beckons.
Should Manchester City defeat the Italians of Inter Milan in Istanbul – and they are overwhelming favourites to do so – they will emulate Manchester United and become just the second English club to have ever won the ‘holy grail’ of football.
The Treble – the three prized possessions of Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup (now Champions League).
In the build-up to the final, media coverage has focused on such a feat and where it would rank.
And while some will argue that the state-owned billionaires of City are a very different beast to their city rivals who reached such heights with half of their youth team 24 years ago, they do compare favourably in other areas.
The question now is can they take a final step and match the accomplishments of their illustrious predecessors.
Anyone who watched City’s dismantling of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively will know that they have already created Champions League highlights aplenty and faced tougher opposition than should await them in the showpiece.
Yet, despite being red-hot favourites, City will still have to be professional to see off the challenge of an Inter team which has just finished third in Serie A and reached this stage after knockout victories over FC Porto, Benfica and city rivals AC Milan – generally a much lower calibre of opponent than City faced n route.
City defender Kyle Walker has this week spoken of the desire to emulate United’s team of 1999 and there is no doubt desire has fuelled the talent and character they have displayed in abundance this season, seeing off many teams with a consummate ease at home and abroad.
They should be near enough at full strength for the final, a depth which was impressive when you saw their bench in last weekend’s FA Cup Final.
Although it is acknowledged, even by sections of the partisan Italian media, that It will take some performance if Inter are to prevent Guardiola and his team from making history, Simone Inzaghi and his players will have kept a close eye on that encounter and will know they have attacking threats of their own and won’t make life easy for City with their rigid defensive set-up.
Inzaghi mist choose between Romelu Lukaku or former City man Edin Dzeko to partner Lautaro Martínez up front. Another former United man, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, is pushing to reclaim a place in midfield after injuring a hamstring in the semi-final win over Milan, although Marcelo Brozovic is hardly a weak alternative.
Last month’s Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina was telling for a number of reasons.
Inter were victorious thanks to a first-half brace from Martinez, however it was not without falling behind to a third minute strike from Nicolas Gonzalez.
A slow start against City must be avoided at all costs given their track record of going ahead early in games throughout this campaign.
Whilst the world focuses on double footballer of the year Erling Haaland, Inter have a prolific goalscorer on their hands, too and, with a World Cup winner’s medal already in his collection, El Toro has big game experience and a tendency to crop up with goals when Inter need it the most.
It’s almost time for battle to commence. Will history be made?
This will be the first competitive meeting between the teams Milan. This is because their spells in European competition have not coincided until recently.
Man City first qualified for the Champions League in the 2011/12 season and have featured in every edition since then. Inter were not in the competition from 2012 to 2018 and only made it back into the knockout rounds for the first time in more than a decade last season.
The two finalists have met twice in pre-season matches, each side winning once by a scoreline of 3-0.
There are a plethora of bets to consider with the SBOTOP Champions League betting odds.
City are priced 1X2 @ 1.43 and Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 2.31 with a comprehensive 3-0 victory on offer with Correct Score @ 10.00.
Inter are priced 1X2 @ 5.80 and Asian Handicap +1.00 which is available @ 2.14.
Obviously the match must be settled on the night and could go to extra-time and penalties (the last Champions League Final to do so was in 2016) but a 1X2 Draw after normal time will pay out @ 4.40.
Goal options include Total 0-1 @ 3.85, 2-3 @ 1.94, 4-6 @ 2.99 and Over 3.00 @ 2.25.
For the final to be level at the break and City go onto win, how about Half Time Full Time Draw Home @ 3.95.
My ** tip is for City to take charge early on and First Half Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 1.99.
A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (⭐) BETS ARE WORTH:
⭐⭐⭐= €20 (HIGHLY CONFIDENT)
⭐⭐= €10 (CONFIDENT)
⭐= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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