Benfica v Internazionale: Champions League quarter-final, first leg – live | Champions League

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Benfica v Internazionale: Champions League quarter-final, first leg – live | Champions League

14.11 EDT


Both teams and formations are much as expected. Benfica are captained by Joao Mario, the midfielder who spent a chunk of his career at Inter. Simone Inzaghi keeps faith with Edin Dzeko, who at 37 is almost as old as Cristiano Ronaldo. Dzeko is preferred to Romelu Lukaku, who is surely itching to come storming off the bench and stop this season being one to forget.

Benfica (4-2-3-1) Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Silva, Morato, Grimaldo; Florentino, Chiquinho; Mario, Rafa, Aursnes; branches.

Subs Soares, Gomes, Verissimo, Rodrigues, Baptista, Neves, Ndour, Neres, Schjelderup, Tengstedt, Musa, Guedes.

Manager Roger Schmidt.

Inter (3-5-2) Onana; Darmian, Unripe, Sticks; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martinez, Dzeko.

Subs Cordaz, Handanovic, Bellanova, Gosens, D’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Zanotti, Carboni, Asllani, Gagliardini, Lukaku, Correa.

Manager Simone Inzaghi.

Updated at 14.11 EDT

13.45 EDT


Hello and welcome to tonight’s other match. Had enough of Haaland? Bored to the back teeth with Bayern? You’ve come to the right place.

This game has a few things going for it and one of them is rarity value. Benfica and Inter, rather improbably, have never met before in the Champions League. They did meet once in its predecessor, the European Cup – so here, at last, we have a rematch of the 1964-65 final.

Inter won that game 1-0, possibly because they were playing at home in the San Siro. They didn’t bump into Benfica again until 2003-04, in the UEFA Cup round of 16. They won the first leg 4-3, then remembered that they were Italian and drew the second 0-0.

So Benfica have never beaten Inter, but according to FiveThirtyEight they have a 56pc chance of doing so over these two legs. Inter are fifth in Serie A and struggling to score, with only three goals in their last six games. Benfica are cruising to their 38th Primeira Liga title and scoring for fun, with 17 goals in their last six – though they did stumble at the weekend against Porto.

Seven of those 17 goals have been slotted away by Gonçalo Ramos, who is 21 and expected to leave Benfica in the summer for Chelsea, Man United or Bayern. It feels as if this tie will hinge on how well Inter’s elderly defenders deal with him. Kick-off is at 8pm, BST and I’ll be back soon after 7 with the teams.

Updated at 13.41 EDT

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