We continue our Champions League preview with Group B. The second assembly on our menu features two ex-UCL champions, and two teams that won the other European silverware in the past- Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, and Borussia Monchengladbach. Now, even though Real and Inter look like favorites for advancing to the knockout stage, the Ukrainian-German duo should not be underestimated.
Yes, they play awful. Yes, they are not a shadow of what Real looked like under Cristiano Ronaldo. But this team has a different mentality and style of play, and they are still winning titles. You need to understand that Zidane restored Real to a fabric setting after his comeback, and after that, made a whole new team that relies upon the defense and fast transitioning, not attack.
That is not nice and attractive, but it gave results, as they reached and passed Barcelona in La Liga following the COVID-19 restart. So, that is the new REALity in Madrid, and you better get used to it.
The Ukrainian team faced Inter in the Europa League’s semifinals and suffered a catastrophe in the second half, with the game ending 5-0 for the Italians. But that wasn’t the actual strength of this squad, whose style of play won the hearts of all the neutral fans.
Miners, as the fans call them, like to attacks and won’t back out against any opponent. Throughout 90 minutes, they want to dictate the tempo and score as many goals as possible, and we need to agree that we all love that to see. They haven’t changed anything in their squad during the summer, meaning that everything on the field will probably be the same as before.
Nerazzurri were one step away from clinching the Europa League last year, but Sevilla and Julen Lopetegui stopped Conte, Lukaku, and the rest of the squad. But even so, Inter and its management didn’t obligate Conte to win anything last season, as he formed a team that will be capable of dethroning Juventus and competing on the international stage.
The final touch of that process was made during the summer with Achraf Hakimi, Stefano Sensi, and Nicolo Barella coming to town. Plus, veterans such as Arturo Vidal, and Aleksandar Kolarov also landed at Meazza, meaning that Inter now has a loaded team, with an extremely deep roster.
With the already present core that has Lukaku, Lautaro, etc, they look very good.
At one point, Moench even had a chance to attack the title, and they played very well. But for some reason, they kept on spilling points against teams who weren’t near their level of play, and on the other side, played well against tough opponents.
The Germans are extremely open-minded, and they don’t give too much attention to the defensive tasks. That is why it’s no wonder to see them conceding two goals, and win in the end. To sum them up in one sentence, a team who is not that tough, but hard to beat.
Borussia wasn’t active on the market this summer at all, and apart from signing the young American from NYCFC, Joe Scally, two of the biggest arrivals were Hannes Wolf from RB Leipzig and Valentino Lazaro from Inter. Both are on loans.
Real and Inter are safe on the top two places, with the note that we give a small edge to the Italians when talking about the first position. Shakhtar is better than Borussia and won’t have any problems with reaching the Europa League.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.