Despite their torrid start to the Italian Serie A season, with only one loss in eight matches — and that coming to defending champions Juventus, as The Inquisitr reported — Inter Milan have faltered in the UEFA Champions League. The Nerazzurri have won neither of their two opening games, suffering an away defeat to Spanish titlists FC Barcelona — and an embarrassing home draw to Slavia Praha, the Czech First League champions.
As result, at the halfway mark of group stage competition in the 2019/2020 Champions League, Inter finds themselves in a must-win position when they host Bundesliga eight-time champs — and last season’s runners-up — Borussia Dortmund. The German club also leads Group F — known as the tournament’s “Group of Death” — ahead of Inter, Barcelona, and Slavia Praha, as the four teams battle for only two available slots in the knockout stage.
Coming into Wednesday’s Matchday 3 action, Dortmund stands as one of only three teams in the Champions League without a goal conceded. But the Dortmund defense will be tested by an Inter attack which, despite scoring only twice in two European matches, has tallied 18 goals in eight league contests.
The intimidating Inter strike duo of Belgium international Romelu Lukaku and 22-year-old Argentina sensation Lautaro Martinez are coming off a brace each in the weekend’s dramatic 4-3 league win over Sassuolo, according to The Hard Tackle.
Watch a preview of the Inter Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund match, courtesy of British legal betting shop BetFred, in the video below.
Dortmund, in addition to playing in the hostile atmosphere of the San Siro stadium in Milan, must face the game without two of their most important players, according to a Sempre Inter report. The team’s 30-year-old captain Marco Reus and Spanish striker Paco Alcacer — who leads the team with five league goals — will both sit out due to injury.
But their absence will be at least somewhat offset by the return of 19-year-old England winger Jadon Sancho, who as DW.com reported, was held out of the club’s weekend match against current Bundesliga leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach, a game that Dortmund managed to win, 1-0 anyway.
Not only was Sancho suspended by the team for a game as a disciplinary measure after he arrived back in Germany late from last week’s international duty with England, but the Dortmund club also slapped the young star with a whopping fine of $110,000.
The last time — and the only time since Alcacer arrived at Dortmund at the start of the 2018/2019 season — that Dortmund has played a match without both members of their attacking duo, the club lost a Champions League quarterfinal second-leg match to Tottenham Hotspur, 3-0.