By 90Min
October 21, 2019

Inter welcome Borussia Dortmund to San Siro on Wednesday night as the Italians look to earn their first Champions League victory of the season.

Antonio Conte's men needed a stoppage-time goal from Nicolo Barella to snatch a draw at home to Slavia Prague in their opening fixture of Group F.

In the following round, a Luis Suarez double sunk I Nerazzurri in Barcelona, the Uruguayan overturning a second-minute lead given to the visitors by Lautaro Martinez.

TF-Images/GettyImages

Dortmund were able to keep the Catalans at bay when the pair clashed at Signal Iduna Park, though a stirring performance from Blaugrana keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen ensured the Germans were likewise goalless. However, they did manage to sink Slavia in the Czech Republic thanks to a brace from Achraf Hakimi.

Here's our preview of the mouth-watering match-up.


Where to Watch

When is Kick Off? Wednesday 23 October
What Time is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST)
Where is it Played? San Siro
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport ESPN
Referee? Anthony Taylor


Inter will be without loanee forward Alexis Sanchez after he damaged tendons in his right foot, with the Chilean not due to return until January. Summer signing Stefano Sensi and defender Danilo D'Ambrosio are also unavailable for Conte.

Fortunately for the Serie A side, £74m striker Romelu Lukaku recovered swiftly from the muscle injury that ruled him out of the Barça encounter, playing in the 2-1 loss to Juventus and scoring twice against Sassuolo on Sunday.

VI-Images/GettyImages

BVB coach Lucien Favre only has to account for the absence of two members of his first-team. The 61-year-old was boosted by comebacks for full-back pairing Nico Schulz and Lukasz Piszczek on the weekend, both of whom had been struggling with fitness issues.

An Achilles problem means last year's to scorer Paco Alcacer joins them on the sidelines, with make-shift forward Mario Gotze also out of Wednesday's clash due to influenza. 

As a result, Favre could potentially play Julian Brandt in a slightly unfamiliar role up front. The youngster partnered Marco Reus at the head of Dortmund's attack during the 1-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday, though the latter is expected to begin as the lone striker.


Potential Lineups

Inter Handanovic; De Vrij, Godin, Skriniar; Candreva, Vecino, Brozovic, Barella, Asamoah; Lukaku, Martinez.
Borussia Dortmund Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho, Brandt, Hazard; Reus.

Head to Head Record

It was over a quarter-century ago when the clubs last locked horns, Inter progressing to the semi-finals of the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, despite losing 2-1 at San Siro.

Dortmund's current sporting director Michael Zorc had given his side the advantage as the break loomed, the midfielder piercing through the Nerazzurri defence, before side-footing a fine volley over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Moments after the restart, Lars Ricken struck a crucial goal for Ottmar Hitzfeld's team that levelled the aggregate score, though Inter remained ahead on away goals, having triumphed 3-1 in North Rhine-Westphalia a fortnight prior.

Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Desperately chasing that tie-winning score, the Bundesliga outfit began to flood forward in numbers. They rattled the bar in the closing stages, but their hopes went up in flames on 81 minutes as Antonio Manicone clipped a cute finish over Stefan Klos in the BVB net.


Evidently, that deft stab over the young shot-stopper was not enough for them to claim victory on the night - not that it mattered to the Italians - meaning the overall record stands at two wins for Inter and one for Dortmund, with a single draw also thrown in.


Recent Form

Having won six of their first seven fixtures under Conte, Inter could have been derailed by a testing period in early October.

Consecutive defeats in heavyweight match-ups left them with plenty of work to do in order to reach the Champions League knockout stages, and saw the side lose their grip on top spot in Serie A.

However, the Nerazzurri responded to those defeats by Juve and Barça in defiant fashion, Lukaku and Martinez grabbing a brace apiece as the San Siro side saw off the challenge of lowly Sassuolo.

MIGUEL MEDINA/GettyImages

Prior to the slender victory over Monchengladbach, Favre's recruits had drawn four games in five. They got back on track against the Bundesliga leaders courtesy of a well-drilled performance from the backline, plus Thorgan Hazard's defence-splitting pass that was tucked away by Reus.

BVB have looked fearsome in the majority of their matches this term, though they do occasionally lack a cutting edge, meaning they could be caught cold by their opponents in midweek.

Here's a look at the two teams' last five results:

Inter Borussia Dortmund
Inter 1-0 Lazio (25/9) Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (22/9)
Sampdoria 1-3 Inter (28/9) Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Werder Bremen (28/9)
Barcelona 2-1 Inter (2/10) Slavia Prague 0-2 Borussia Dortmund (2/10)
Inter 1-2 Juventus (6/10) Freiburg 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (5/10)
Sassuolo 3-4 Inter (20/10) Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach (19/10)

Prediction

Dortmund returned to winning ways as they downed Die Fohlen at Signal Iduna Park, and they will no doubt take heart from that hard-earned triumph. However, the confidence they've gained remains fragile and a strong start from Inter could be damaging for the visitors.

Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Despite conceding three times versus Sassuolo, the Nerazzurri defence is often a difficult lock to pick. Getting past them will prove a frustrating task for BVB as the likes of Lukaku search for a goal at the other end.

If it comes early, don't expect a strong reaction or comeback from the Germans - the opposite is far more likely.

Prediction: Inter 2-0 Borussia Dortmund


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