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These two sides were supposed to battle it out for Group B but have instead wound up behind both Gladbach and Shakhtar at the half-way stage.
Neither arrives in particularly good form, though this is the tightest group with just three points separating first from fourth, so the situation is still salvageable at this moment in time.
Real are just W3-D2-L3 since the October international break, with their last two outings a 4-1 defeat at Valencia and a 1-1 stalemate visiting Villarreal.
It’s now three away games without tasting success, having previously drawn with Gladbach, and Los Blancos are just W3-D4-L2 on the road going back to mid-July now.
Inter have experienced more than their fair share of stalemates lately. They’re W2-D5-L2 since the start of October and although they lost crunch games with Real Madrid and local rivals Milan, both defeats came by one-goal margins and they’ve also drawn with the likes of Lazio, Gladbach, Shakhtar, Parma and Atalanta.
The Nerazzurri should remain competitive then at the very least and they’ll take encouragement from the team news.
Although a few squad players remain sidelined, most notably Aleksandar Kolarov and Marcelo Brozovic, key forward Romelu Lukaku will feature having missed the reverse fixture.
Meanwhile, usual strike partner Lautaro Martinez got a rest as he started on the bench at the weekend, with Alexis Sanchez delivering a goal and an assist in his absence against Torino.
Whereas Inter’s attack looks in reasonable shape, Zinedine Zidane has some concerns to battle through and particularly at the back.
Most alarmingly, veteran captain Sergio Ramos injured his hamstring on international duty, and the visitors have lost seven of the last eight he’s missed in this competition since 2018.
Beyond the highly influential Ramos, Zidane will also be without Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao and, Federico Valverde, though the two he’ll worry about most are key men Casemiro and Karim Benzema. Both are doubts for this fixture, and the absence of either would seriously hurt Real’s chances.
We wouldn’t want to get behind the Spanish outfit given their missing players and especially given their record without Ramos. However, they have still won nine of their past 10 against Italian clubs, including each of their past four visits to Italy, while Inter have won just two of their last 13 in this competition, so we wouldn’t want to get behind Antonio Conte’s men either.
Over 3.5 Goals
Instead, it’s goals that we’d back in this encounter. Real Madrid are accustomed to high-scoring games in this tournament, with six of their last eight appearances featuring at least four goals as the two exceptions each saw three strikes (both 2-1 defeats to Man City). Meanwhile, across all competitions, six of their last seven have seen Under 3.5 Goals land.
Over half of Inter’s 11 matches in all competitions this season have seen a minimum of four goals. That includes three of their last four, as they produced a five-goal thriller in the reverse fixture and beat Torino 4-2 this weekend amongst these recent games.