Manchester City take on Inter in Istanbul this weekend in the final of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League.
This is the second time in three seasons that City have reached this stage of the competition, losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the 2021 final in Porto.
They still do not have a European Cup in their ever-expanding trophy cabinet and Pep Guardiola has not won the Champions League in 12 years, but they head to Turkey as heavy favourites to triumph on this occasion.
To be crowned champions of Europe, City will have to defeat an Inter side who have hugely improved during the second half of this season. The Nerazzurri have proven their street-smarts under the guidance of Simone Inzaghi and have gained a reputation as one of the continent’s fiercest cup teams.
Man City team news
Guardiola revealed at a press conference on Tuesday that Kyle Walker missed City’s most recent training session after picking up a back problem during last Saturday’s FA Cup final.
However, the right-back has since alleviated fears that he could miss the Champions League final, insisting that he sat out the session as a precaution, joking that he’s ‘just getting old’. City do not have any other injury concerns at this point.
Man City predicted lineup
Man City predicted lineup (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish; Haaland
Man City’s route to the Champions League final
Manchester City’s run through to Istanbul has been pretty serene truth be told, with Guardiola’s side yet to taste defeat in their 12 outings.
Sevilla were swatted to one side with ease in the group stages, both home and away, while Dortmund and Copenhagen were overcome at the Etihad. 0-0 draws were secured in the reverse fixtures, the latter of which saw plenty of changes made to Guardiola’s usual starting lineup.
RB Leipzig thought they had got their teeth into City after securing a draw in the first leg of their round of 16 clash, only to be pummelled 7-0 three weeks later. Bayern were then outclassed in both legs of their quarter-final tie, before City put on a masterclass to tear defending champions Real Madrid apart in the semis.
Inter team news
Inter are continuing to sweat over the fitness of defender Milan Skriniar, who has not played since March after undergoing back surgery.
Skriniar will join PSG on a free transfer later this summer and at this stage it’s unlikely that he’ll start the final.
Joaquin Correa is expected to overcome a muscle problem in time for Saturday.
Inter predicted lineup
Inter predicted lineup (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Brozovic, Dimarco; Dzeko, Martinez
Inter’s route to the Champions League final
Inter weren’t expected to progress beyond the group stage, so the fact they’re in the final is a pretty remarkable achievement.
Their place in the knockout stages was secured after taking four points off Barcelona in their two meetings, in addition to picking up maximum points against whipping boys Viktoria Plzen.
The draw then really started to open up for Inter after they dispatched Porto 1-0 on aggregate in the round of 16. Benfica, normally so good at home, were blunted on their own patch before a six-goal thriller played out at the San Siro, while neighbourhood rivals AC Milan were unable to lay a glove on Inzaghi’s side in the semis.