Inter conquered a feisty and belligerent Getafe in the Round of 16, but the road to the Europa League final fails to get any easier. The German outfit Bayer Leverkusen is the Nerazzurri’s quarter-final opponent at Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena.
Peter Bosz’ side earned a 5th place finish in the Bundesliga, and like Inter, began it’s Europa League campaign after finishing 3rd in the UCL. Leverkusen soundly beat Rangers of Scotland 4-1 on aggregate in the prior round. Bayer is a well rounded team, with quality all across the pitch. Led by Kai Havertz (12g, 6a) and Kevin Volland (10g, 7a), Bayer’s attack can cause loads of problems on its day. On the other side of the pitch, Leverkusen boasts the 5th best defense in the Bundesliga, while the midfield duo of Charles Aranguiz and Exequiel Palacios is solid, though not much more. All in all, Bayer has the capability to win a one-off game such as this even if it may not equal Inter in quality.
Meanwhile on the Inter side of things, rumours surrounding Antonio Conte’s exit have died down of late, but a premature Europa League exit would surely send them springing back into the forefront.
Despite that, Inter remain in excellent form, with four wins in a row and nine matches unbeaten. Continuing that run would see Inter play in a European semi-final for the first time since the 2010 season.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Like against Getafe, Inter will have to fight, but it should claim the victory when all is said and done. Leverkusen, though, will find its way onto the scoresheet and snap Inter’s 5-match shutout run. Forza Inter!