Lukaku will be the main man for Inter Milan on Monday against Leverkusen. Photo from @Squawka (Twitter).
- On Monday, August 10, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen square off at the Dusseldorf Arena in the quarterfinals of the Europa League
- Inter Milan was victorious in a one-off Round of 16 game against Getafe while Bayer Leverkusen easily slid past Rangers by a score of 4-1 to get to this late stage
- Currently, the favorities in the match are Inter Milan with moneyline odds of +112 – see our pick below
The pandemic has drastically altered the format of the Europa League ahead of Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen’s match-up on Monday. The round would have normally featured two games, one home and one away for each side. Now, the quarterfinal round will consist of one game only, played at a neutral venue in Germany. With that being said, two of the most storied sides in European football are squaring off. What’s not to love?
Inter Milan vs Bayer Leverkusen Odds
|Teams||Spread||Moneyline||Total at DraftKings|
|Inter Milan||-1 (+280)||+112||Over 2 ½ (-122)|
|Bayer Leverkusen||+1 (-135)||+240||Under 2 ½ (-103)|
Odds taken on 8/7/2020.
Inter Milan are the favorites here, but by such a narrow margin. Inter Milan and Leverkusen finished second and fourth in their domestic tables, respectively, and were knocked out of the Champions League to reach the competition.
Milan had it easy in the Round of 32, defeating Bulgaria’s Ludogorets, while Kai Havertz’s side was tasked with playing a tough Porto squad. Next came Getafe and Rangers who also could not stand the task of beating these European heavyweights. Now, the two sides square off to see who will get a chance at Europe’s second biggest piece of hardware.
Conte’s Chance at Redemption?
A factor playing heavily on this match is the future of manager Antonio Conte at the club. If Inter Milan lose, it very well could be his goodbye at the Black and Blues. However, if they win and advance in one of Europe’s most prestigious competitions, it could restore faith back in the dressing room. Inter Milan have put together a winning side with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez. Hence, it is time for them to start winning trophies before they realistically age out or are pillaged.
Lukaku and Martinez alone make up 37 of Inter Milan’s goals this season and surely will be the strike force on Monday. They will be facing a Leverkusen team that let up 52 goals in Germany this year, bad enough for the second worst record in the Bundesliga top ten. If Conte sets up with three in the back it could provide the Italians with a versatile array of attacking options.
Inter Milan vs Bayer Leverkusen Europa League Statistics
|2||Goals per game||2.25|
|14||Shots per game||13.8|
|52.1%||Average possession %||58.6%|
|83.3%||Average pass %||85.4%|
Watch Out For Havertz and Diaby
Two players to watch out for in this match are Kai Havertz and Moussa Diaby. The two attacking midfielders for Leverkusen have combined for 28 goal contributions this year. They are tricky and will test the three man back-line of Inter Milan if they press up too high. It also could be Havertz’s last game for Leverkusen as Chelsea race for the German international, which should spark a good performance from him either way.
He can do it all…
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) July 29, 2020
It doesn’t hurt that Leverkusen also have Kevin Volland up top with 17 goal contributions this season. History does not have much to say about this fixture as the two sides have only met twice in 2003, with Inter Milan winning both competitions. Ultimately, Inter Milan have been in better form as of late. But, as we all know too well, one-off games in Europe are never easily predictable.
Finally, the best bet for this match is Inter Milan at +112. It seems like the easy pick, but they are the favorites for a reason, and this bet has really, really good value. If Conte can put some decent tactics out on the pitch, his talent should be able to carry out a solid performance. Leverkusen’s defense can just be so leaky at times which leads to believe it could be a fun one for Lukaku and Martinez. With Alexis Sanchez coming off the bench, it just looks like Milan’s firepower will be too much for an inconsistent Leverkusen team.
My Pick: Inter Milan moneyline (+112)
Josh Ricker is a freelance sports journalist, currently attending the University of Southern Maine (Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and Marketing). He has recently interned with the AA Portland Sea Dogs, and his work has been featured on Fansided, as well as now here on SBD.