Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Sitting on seven points in the group after three games, and looking at Tottenham and PSV with just one, Inter must have felt that they had their Champions League destiny in their own hands. For sure, they faced their trickiest games – away at both Barcelona and Spurs – but a point from either game would have left them in control and needing only to win tonight to progress. For Luciano Spalletti’s men the bad news is that even a win doesn’t guarantee them anything tonight.
Inter will need to win, and keenly watch what is going on in Barcelona, where Tottenham play tonight. The London club have only to match the Milanese’s result. Inter may be cheered by the fact that PSV, guaranteed bottom spot in the group, might lack motivation here. That cheer, however, may be punctured by the knowledge that Barcelona have already secured top spot and are unlikely to go too hard on Spurs tonight.
Inter Milan vs PSV Eindhoven Prediction: Inter Milan 3-0 PSV Eindhoven
Inter have seen their form desert them at the worst possible moment, knocking them to third place in Serie A behind Napoli, and the same spot in this group behind Spurs. Granted, their last three games have been away at Tottenham, Roma and Juventus – a pretty tough road trip – and they did pick up a point in Rome, but they need to get their season back on track in a hurry. That begins with winning here, and the Dutch side will provide limited pushback at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. We forecast a routine victory for the Italian side, and then an immediate glance towards Catalunya for good or bad news.
Our recommended tip: BTTS – No
PSV haven’t struggled in front of goal domestically – their most recent outing saw them welcome Excelsior to the Philips Stadion and thrash them 6-0. Two goals for Luuk de Jong, and a couple of own goals, did much of the damage. With that said, nothing they do tonight can change the fact that they’re out of the competition. Their wisest move would be to rest players for the weekend’s fixture with Heracles and, in the face of a strong Inter side, we suspect they won’t bother the scorers here. Dafabet are offering Evens (2.00) on that, and it might well be worth pursuing.
Inter and PSV were drawn in the same group for the 2007 Champions League, with Inter winning both games – 2-0 at home, and 1-0 in Holland. More recently, when the sides met in Eindhoven on Matchday 2 of this season’s competition, a goal from Pablo Rosario gave the home side the lead on 27 minutes. Shortly before half time, Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan equalised, and Inter scored the winner on the hour mark when Mauro Icardi, inevitably, got on the scoresheet. Just like that night in October, Inter will need to be careful of sucker punches here – but they should have enough to counter what PSV throw at them.
Top 3 Champions League Bookies
Players to watch: Keita Balde & Hirving Lozano
While Icardi is the player liable to get the headlines, and probably the goals, he would have to admit that his goal-poaching style would be much tougher to play without a support player to hold the ball up and draw defenders away. Balde, on loan from Monaco, has played that often thankless role to perfection, and at 23 has shown a maturity to his play that eludes some much older players. The Senegal international chipped in with an important goal against Roma recently, too.
Lozano is the player most likely to throw a wrench in the works of Inter’s plans here. They know they must win, and must attack here. However, the more they attack, the more space they leave, and this speedy Mexican international forward loves nothing more than running into dangerous areas. Just ask Germany, against whom he scored on the break in this summer’s World Cup. Occasionally wasteful in front of goal, he can be a pain to play alongside; but nowhere near as hard as he is to play against.