September, 30, 2023
2023 Champions League Final Preview

2023 Champions League Final Preview

The most prestigious European football competition, UEFA Champions League 2022-23, after 96 competitive group stage games and 28 thrilling two-legged knockout ties, has now come to its conclusion with only 2 best teams of the 2022-23 edition left. One is an Italian and Italian cup champion and the other is the English Champion. These are:

 Inter Milan

Manchester City

The 2023 Champions League Final Preview

These two will face off against each other on a huge Saturday night in Istanbul, Turkey on the 10th of June 2023. The game will start at the local time 22:00 (21:00 CET), which will be midnight Sunday in Pakistan. The ‘Ataturk Olympic Stadium’ of Istanbul has already hosted a historical Champions League final back in 2005, when Liverpool FC beat AC Milan in a Penalty Shootout, after making a significant comeback in the 2nd half as they went 3-0 down in the 1st half. This historic venue again awaits which possibly will be another historic and memorable night. Inter Milan who last time won the UCL title back in 2010 would like to add another title to their three already-won Champions League titles in history. While Manchester City would love to win their first-ever Champions League title having never won it in their club’s history and failed once after reaching the Final back in the 2020-21 season against their league rivals Chelsea FC.

Inter Milan and UCL History

As mentioned earlier, Inter Milan has already won the most valuable and the most demanding club competition in European football 3 times in their history. And on this Saturday night, they would love to add another one and make it 4. The Azzurri’s were one of the giants in European football back in the mid of 20th Century when they won the Champions League for two consecutive years in 1964 and 1965. And very recently, Inter won the UCL title back in the 2010 season having one of their best squads ever. The Azzurri’s under the management and coaching of one of the biggest names in football coaching ‘Jose Mourinho’ won the Champions League in 2010. Jose Mourinho having already won a UCL title with Porto in 2004, won it for the second time, and this time with the Italians. The ‘Black and Blues’ had a star-studded team that season having some big names in world football and also some veterans including Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambassio, Julio Cesar, Samuel Eto’o, Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito, Maicon, Mario Balotelli, Ricardo Quaresma, and many others. And with this super team, Inter Milan not only won the UCL title but significantly managed to win the first-ever treble in their club’s history as they won the Champions League, Coppa Italia, and the Scudetto that season. Afterward, Rafael Benitez took in-charge of the Azzurris when Jose Mourinho left for Real Madrid.

Inter’s Road to the 2022–23 UCL Final (Champions League)

Inter Milan’s road to the final of the 2022–23 Champions League wasn’t easy and certain, as they were seeded alongside two of the European giants, Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona, in the group stage. And as we know that only the top two from each of the eight UCL groups qualify for the last 16 stages, Inter wasn’t considered a favorite to make it through. And as expected, it didn’t start well for the Azzurri, as they lost their opening game at home against the Germans by a scoreline of 2 goals to nil. Their second game was against one of the weakest teams in the competition, Viktoria Plzen, and Inter comprehensively won the game against them. Now came the all-important match against FC Barcelona, as it always seemed to be a competition between the Azzurri and the Blaugranas for the 2nd spot in the group, as their German group rivals were too strong to slip the number 1 spot in the group. Inter Milan, making the home advantage count, won the game narrowly against the red and blues by just a 1-0 scoreline as Barça’s goal was ruled offside, but most importantly, three very vital points for Inter. Now it was time for Inter’s 4th group stage game away from home against the Blaugranas at Camp Nou. Inter unexpectedly started the game very well and scored the opening goal of the game. Barça equalized in the second half, and now the momentum seemed to be shifting towards the home team. But in contrast to that, Inter astonishingly scored twice in a short period on quick counterattacks and made it 3-1. But Barça, with two late goals, somehow managed to make it 3-3 at full time, but it wasn’t enough for them as they dropped two more points against the Italians. Now it looked like a secured second spot for the Azzurri unless Barça beat Bayern in their last game and Inter lose to Viktoria Plzen at home, which seemed very unlikely. And in fact, that was the case as Inter Milan easily beat Viktoria Plzen at the San Siro, making it through to the final 16, and securing the second spot in the group.

Now the black and blue had to face the Portuguese side, Porto, in the RO16 of the UCL. The first leg of the match was in San Siro, where Inter beat Porto just 1-0 thanks to a very late strike by Romelu Lukaku after coming off the bench. Porto was unable to find the back of the net even in the return leg at their home ground, despite hitting the crossbar three times in the game. Inter made it through to the last 8. Now they face the Portuguese champions, Benfica, in the quarterfinals. And that’s when Inter Milan turned up, scoring twice in the first leg of the quarterfinals away from home with the help of goals from Barella and Lukaku’s penalty. The second leg was much better played by Benfica even though it was at San Siro, as they were able to produce a 3-3 draw, but it was all fruitless for Benfica as it was already job done in the first leg by Inter, and now the Azzurri headed into the semi-final stage where they had to face their city rivals AC Milan, making a mouthwatering Milan Derby in the semi-finals of the 2022–23 UCL.

 Milan Derby Result

One of the oldest Italian rivalries, the Milan Derby, once again became the center of attention in European football. The Milan Derby had a great history and always guaranteed fireworks from both sides, but this time, that wasn’t the case as the Azzurri were completely dominant over the Rossoneri in both legs of the semi-final tie. Inter Milan easily beat their rivals by an aggregate of 3-0 (both legs). 2 goals to nil in the 1st leg with the help of goals from Dzeko and Mkhitaryan, and 1 goal to nil in the 2nd leg with the help of a goal from Inter’s captain and the Argentine World Champion Lautaro Martinez. AC Milan had no answer as their city rivals were too solid defensively, as well as very prominent and lively in the attacking sense of the game. Simone Inzaghi’s side is now heading toward their first European final in a long time.

Manchester City’s Road to the 2022–23 UCL Final (Champions League)

In contrast to Inter Milan, Manchester City had a relatively easier group as compared to the Azzurri. They were seeded alongside Dortmund, Sevilla, and Copenhagen in the group stage, and Man City, with relative ease, topped the group with 14 points. Not winning all the games but 4, and drawing 2 of the 6 group stage games as Copenhagen and Borussia Dortmund gave Man City a tough time in their home games. But a top spot for Manchester City was guaranteed, and that is what mattered the most.

Now Man City had to face RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the 2022–23 Champions League final. The first leg of the tie was pretty much even, as the final scoreline was 1-1. Riyad Mahrez gave Manchester City an early lead in the first half, which was canceled out by the goal of RB Leipzig’s Croatian center-back Gvardiol. But the return leg of this tie was a thrashing by Manchester City, as they destroyed RB Leipzig, scoring seven goals at the Etihad Stadium, showing why they’re at the moment one of the best in Europe. Erling Haaland found the back of the net a record five times in that 7-0 game and became one of the only players to score five Champions League goals in a single game alongside Luiz Adriano and Lionel Messi. Man City moves on. Now they had to face the German heavyweights Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. And this tie seemed to be a real test for the citizens. But Manchester City showed their class as they beat Bayern Munich in the first leg by a scoreline of 3-0 at the Etihad, courtesy of goals by the Spaniard Rodri, the Portuguese Bernardo Silva, and the Norwegian current superstar of European football, ‘Erling Haaland’. But the tie couldn’t at all be declared over as the second leg was at the Allianz Arena, where Bayern Munich can turn anything around. The second leg was dominantly played by Bayern Munich, but they only managed to produce a draw with a 1-1 scoreline, finding the back of the net only once and also conceding one from Cityzen Erling Haaland. Man City are into the semi-finals once again, and they were astonishingly seeded with the defending champions Real Madrid, whom they faced last season in the same competition, at the same stage of the semi-finals.

 Man City outclassed Real Madrid in the semi-final

In the 2021–22 season, Real Madrid was able to beat Manchester City in the semi-final of the UCL with the help of a most dramatic and unbelievable comeback. This time, once again, all eyes of European football were set on this absolute thriller. The first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu (Real Madrid’s home) didn’t disappoint the spectators as both sides matched each other stride by stride, as reflected by the 1-1 scoreline at the end of the first leg of this intriguing semi-final tie. The Brazilian left winger Vinicius Junior gave Real Madrid a lead with an out-of-the-box super golazo in the closing stages of the first half. But it was all square in the second half, thanks to a banging strike out of the box by the Belgian Kevin De Bruyne. The second leg of this tie became even more interesting due to the 1-1 scoreline. But it was a ramped-up display by Manchester City at the Etihad in the second leg, as they out-shined the defending champions by a scoreline of 4 goals to nil. Two goals by Bernardo Silva in the first half, followed by a goal from Akanji and one from Julian Alvarez, sealed the 4-0 victory for the Citizens. Man City marched on to their second Champions League final ever in the club’s history, both under the coaching of Pep Guardiola.

Final Preview and Predictions

So everything comes down to this point after an interval of difficulties, joy, and despondency. The premier club football match takes place at the legendary Ataturk Olympic Stadium between Manchester City and Inter Milan.

Manchester City hopes to join the elite group of treble-winning clubs as they pursue football eternity. Inter Milan, on the other side, would believe that an enchanting season had already begun with their appearance in the finale. However, no squad enters this stage with gratitude in their hearts. The Azzurri will be motivated to play the contest of their careers and pull off a miracle regardless of being the underdogs in this match.

Here are the predicted lineups for Man City vs. Inter Milan.

Man City’s Predicted Lineup:

Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish, Haaland

Inter Milan’s Predicted Lineup:

Onana, Acerbi, Bastoni, Darmian, Dumfries, Calhanoglu, Brozovic,, Barella, Demarco, Martinez, Dzeko


This matchup is regarded as one of the most one-sided finals ever, notwithstanding Inter Milan’s UCL Final record. Man City is out of control, and winning the triple crown would be an excessive reward. Although Inter Milan has done well to get thus far, Manchester City is considerably superior in terms of the quality of the team and diversity. When Chelsea and Man City met in 2021 Final, an identical tale surrounded the outcome. The lesson of the tale is that anything can occur in a one-time game. A misstep here, a counterattack here, and a surprise is on the horizon.

Despite this, it still seems stupid to ignore Manchester City in this situation. If Inter wins tonight, it will be a major surprise and for the ages.







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