After another successful season of collecting trophies under Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s dominance of the English soccer scene is uncontested. However, if they defeat Inter Milan in Saturday’s Champions League final, they will finally be able to call themselves rulers of the continent.
Now, only Inter stands between Manchester United and a triple that would rival the accomplishments of Manchester United in 1999, which are still unmatched.
Imitating that would go a long way toward banishing any remaining sense of inferiority that formed part of City’s DNA when they were faltering out of the top-flight and their renowned neighbors were all-conquering. This would go a long way toward banishing any lingering sense of inferiority that became part of City’s DNA when they were stumbling out of the top-flight.
More importantly, the Abu Dhabi owners of City would at long last be able to take possession of the European trophy that their significant financial investment in the club since 2008 has been directed toward achieving.
Without a shadow of a doubt, City will begin the match as the overwhelming favorite. They advanced to the final by outplaying European powerhouses Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, and the players who will be warming the bench at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium on Saturday would be able to walk into Inter’s first team, as well as the first teams of most other teams in Europe.
The challenge that lies ahead for Inter is a difficult one, considering that their assault is led by Erling Haaland, who has scored 52 goals across all competitions, that Kevin De Bruyne is orchestrating the orchestra, that they have an impenetrable defense, and that their inspiring captain Ilkay Gundogan may be playing in his final game.
However, Guardiola has been around long enough to understand that taking the last stage is not a mere formality.
“A final against an Italian team is not always the best gift, honestly,” he stated in the build-up to the matchup.
Inter Milan, captained by Simone Inzaghi, came in third place in Serie A, 18 points behind the league champions, Napoli.
However, they will take pride in the fact that they are the underdog, just as they did in 2010 when Jose Mourinho’s team surprised Bayern with an outstanding exhibition of counterattacking football.
This year in the knockout round of the Champions League, Inter allowed only three goals to be scored against them throughout the course of six matches. They advanced to the final after beating Porto, Benfica, and AC Milan.
Inter has a defensive three in Alessandro Bastoni, Matteo Darmian, and Francesco Acerbi that is well-versed in the best Italian systems and who will embrace the task of trying to stop City’s slickers. Bastoni played for Manchester United in the past, and Darmian played for Inter.
Being a former player for United certainly provides additional incentive. It should be interesting to compete against them. For me, it will be quite similar to a derby,” Darmian remarked. It won’t be a walk in the park. However, despite the fact that they are the strongest team in the world, we are capable of defeating them.
Another former Manchester United player who won’t require any extra incentive is Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a midfielder for the club. In the forward position, Edin Dzeko is a familiar face to City supporters, while Lautaro Martinez presents a significant danger to the opposition.
Inter’s run, according to Inzaghi, has been “a dream,” but they have not arrived in the gateway city of Turkey just to make up the numbers. If City’s players want to attain sporting immortality, they are going to have to earn it. Inter has not arrived in Turkey just to make up the numbers.
When? June 11, 01:00 am (Bangladesh Standard Time)
Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, which is located in Turkey
The championship game between these two teams takes place tonight for the very first time ever in a competitive setting.
The only time these two teams have competed against one another was in a friendly match in 2010 and 2011, with Inter capturing the first match by a score of 3-0 and City winning the second match by the same score but a year later.
Ederson in goal, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Stones, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish, and Haaland make up the 3-2-4-1 formation for Manchester City.
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Onana (GK), Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni, Dumfries, Calhanoglu, Brozovic, Barella, Dimarco, Martinez, Dzeko