The Europa League semi-final stage is set, and two very intriguing fixtures are on the menu in Germany. Manchester United takes on Sevilla Sunday, before Inter Milan meets Shakhtar Donetsk Monday for a ticket to the final.
The Nerazzurri may be in slight unrest off the pitch, but there’s no questioning the form on it. Inter has notched 5 wins in a row and kept 5 shutouts in the last 6. That has largely been with Milan Skriniar and Christian Eriksen on the bench, giving fuel to rumours that their Inter futures are in doubt. Diego Godin has filled in quite well for Skriniar, but Roberto Gagliardini has been underwhelming. Nonetheless, Skriniar and Eriksen remain excellent options to bring off the bench, for better or worse.
Shakhtar, meanwhile, cannot be underestimated. Luis Castro’s side has a fearsome attack, lead by Júnior Moraes (17g, 7a), Taison (9g, 7a), and Marlos (9g, 2a). They made themselves heard in the previous knockout rounds, rolling over Wolfsburg 5-1 on aggregate and Basel 4-1. Defensively, though, Shakhtar has failed to face a serious test so far. Romelu Lukaku will provide that and more, and will be ready to add to his tally of a whopping 31 goals.
Predicted Starting XIs
- Antonio Conte seems to have found a clear first choice eleven in the Europa League, and there’s no reason to alter it in a game this important.
- Alexis Sanchez is out with a hamstring injury, though, so Inter has one less option on the bench.
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
This game shapes up to be the toughest yet of Inter’s Europa League campaign, but considering its current form, the Nerazzurri should do enough to reach the final. Shakhtar attack will be plenty to deal with, but goals from Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez will earn Inter the win. Forza Inter!