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Inter logo
Champions League | Group Stage
Dec 12, 2023 at 8pm UK
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Real Sociedad logo
Inter Milan
0 - 0
Real Sociedad

Martinez (75')
FT

Zubeldia (21'), Zakharyan (44'), Kubo (76'), Elustondo (85')

Preview: Inter Milan vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Inter Milan and Real Sociedad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In a straight fight for top spot in Group D of the Champions League, Inter Milan and Real Sociedad meet at San Siro on Tuesday evening.

The two teams - who drew 1-1 in September's reverse fixture - have cruised through to the last 16 without losing, and both will be intent on finishing their group campaign with a flourish.


Match preview

Inter Milan's Marcus Thuram celebrates scoring their third goal on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Coasting to a 15th win of the season in Serie A's Saturday night kickoff, Inter regained top spot in Italy with an imperious performance against Udinese - a 4-0 success following last week's 3-0 defeat of reigning champions Napoli.

Hakan Calhanoglu - who had previously scored a stunner against the Scudetto holders - Federico Dimarco and Marcus Thuram all struck in the first half, before captain Lautaro Martinez notched his 14th league goal of the season late on.

Having lost just once this term - a shock setback against Sassuolo in September - the Nerazzurri are battling it out with old foes Juventus for first place, and with a two-point advantage after 15 games they are most pundits' favourites to claim the title.

Simone Inzaghi's side have already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages, sitting on 11 points in Group D alongside Tuesday's visitors, following an eventful 3-3 draw with Benfica last time out in Europe.

Although Inzaghi's much-changed team could not quite pull off a remarkable comeback in Lisbon, having recovered from three goals down to level the game through strikes from Marko Arnautovic, Davide Frattesi and Alexis Sanchez, they have still lost only one of their last 12 matches in UEFA's top club competition - to Manchester City in last season's final.

They now conclude their successful group-stage campaign back home in Milan, where they have won six of their last seven Champions League home fixtures, including both games this season.

Incidentally, the last time Inter won all three group games at home was back in 2010, when they were reigning champions, and they can match that mark this week by beating in-form Real Sociedad, who they host for the first time since a UEFA Cup tie some 44 years ago.

Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil with Martin Zubimendi on November 29, 2023© Reuters

By contrast, La Real only need one point from their final fixture to secure first place in Group D - and with it a potentially favourable draw in the last 16 - as their goal difference is superior to Inter's after five matches.

Although they were held to a goalless draw by Red Bull Salzburg last month, the San Sebastian side had already won both of their two away games in the Champions League this season - as many as in the previous 12, of which they had lost no less than nine.

Head coach Imanol Alguacil has taken the plaudits for his team's impressive progression in recent times, and they now sit inside La Liga's top six after recovering from a shaky start to the season.

The Basque club were in Copa del Rey action last Wednesday, securing their spot in the third round with a 1-0 defeat of Andratx, before beating Villarreal 3-0 in the league - goals from Mikel Merino, Martin Zubimendi and Take Kubo effectively sealed success during the first half at El Madrigal.

Having managed just one win from their first six matches this term, Real Sociedad have since posted 12 from their last 17 and are now seven games unbeaten as they prepare to visit Italy.

La Real led for most of September's contest against Inter at the Anoeta, but Brais Mendez ultimately saw his early goal cancelled out by a late Lautaro Martinez leveller: a repeat result in midweek would ensure Alguacil's men top the group table.

Inter Milan Champions League form:


Inter Milan form (all competitions):


Real Sociedad Champions League form:


Real Sociedad form (all competitions):



Team News

Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi reacts on November 29, 2023© Reuters

With qualification already confirmed and a tough trip to face former club Lazio scheduled for Sunday, Simone Inzaghi may make a handful of changes to his starting XI against Real Sociedad.

The Inter side that faced Benfica last month was virtually unrecognisable, with number one goalkeeper Yann Sommer - who has kept 10 clean sheets in 15 league matches since signing in the summer - replaced by Emil Audero, and first-choice strikers Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez were also rested.

The latter has accounted for 29% of the Nerazzurri's Champions League shots this season - the highest percentage of any player throughout the competition - but Marko Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez may be called upon again.

Inzaghi will almost certainly rotate his resources in defence, as Stefan de Vrij, Denzel Dumfries and Benjamin Pavard have all been struck down by injury of late.

Meanwhile, Real Sociedad will benefit from having key defender Robin Le Normand back in the fold, after the Spain international served a domestic suspension against Villarreal.

Mikel Oyarzabal should be available too, but Mohamed Ali-Cho and Ander Barrenetxea remain out of action, while Brais Mendez will be sidelined by a broken arm following Etienne Capoue's horror challenge at the weekend.

Imanol Alguacil could also be tempted to freshen up his team, with Andre Silva in contention to feature up front, but midfield mainstay Mikel Merino should still be involved. The latter has won more duels (51) and more aerial duels (28) than any other player in the Champions League this season, also scoring and assisting in the 3-1 win over Benfica.


Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Audero; Darmian, Acerbi, Augusto; Cuadrado, Frattesi, Asllani, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Sanchez, Arnautovic

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Odriozola, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Tierney; Zakharyan, Zubimendi, Merino; Kubo, Silva, Oyarzabal


SM words green background

We say: Inter Milan 2-1 Real Sociedad

Without a great deal at stake, both sides may hold something in reserve, but it should still be an engaging tussle between the undisputed top two in Group D. Inter have only slipped up once at San Siro this season and boast impressive squad depth, so it is the Nerazzurri that will celebrate claiming first place.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Inter Milan vs Real Sociedad

Inter Milan
77.0%
Draw
13.2%
Real Sociedad
9.9%
152
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Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil with Martin Zubimendi on November 29, 2023
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QBayern651016
QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

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QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
4Sevilla60242

Group C

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QReal Madrid660018
QNapoli631210
3Braga61144
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
QReal Sociedad633012
QInter Milan633012
3Benfica61144
4Salzburg61144

Group E

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QAtletico642014
QLazio631210
3Feyenoord62046
4Celtic61144

Group F

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QDortmund632111
QPSG62228
3AC Milan62228
4Newcastle61235

Group G

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QMan City660018
QRB Leipzig640212
3Young Boys61144
4Red Star60151

Group H

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QBarcelona640212
QPorto640212
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4Antwerp61053

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