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UEFA Champions League

Uefa Champions League: Inter Milan vs Atletico Madrid
sokapro-Uefa Champions League: Inter Milan vs Atletico Madrid

Inter Milan face off with Atletico Madrid at the San Siro in what is percieved to be the most competitive Champions League round of 16 tie of the season. Who will be victorious?

Italian powerhouse Inter Milan are currently at the top of the Serie A table with 63 points and 9 points clear from their nearest challengers albeit with a game in hand. On the other hand, LaLiga giants Atletico Madrid are currently fourth of the table and will be looking to maintain the position to secure a Champions League spot next season. Inter have demonstrated over the last two seasons that they are among Europe's best clubs and may consider themselves at the top of their game going into their Champions League comeback tonight. They have started the year with an eight-game winning streak. The Serie A top dogs have lost only one of their last 13 UCL games which was the 1-0 defeat they suffered in last season's final against eventual champions Manchester City. 

Simon Inzaghi's team have only suffered one major setback in the form of an extra time Coppa Italia defeat to Bologna ever since finishing second in Group D behind Real Sociedad. The new year season, however, has seen them reach greater heights. After defeating both Lazio and Napoli to win the Supercoppa Italiana for the third time in a row, the Nerazzurri used their victory in the Derby d'Italia to their title challengers  Juventus in the rearview mirror. They then took advantage of Juve's deteriorating form, scoring four goals in their last two games. The Milan giants are nine points clear at the top of Serie A after defeating Salernitana 4-0 on Friday. Top scorer and captain Lautaro Martinez added to his already excellent goal tally. The team is also one of the favourites to advance to the Champions League final in June which will be held at Wembley. Tonight's match against Atletico Madrid, however, will be their first knockout meeting with a LaLiga opponent since the 2010 semi-finals fixture when Jose Mourinho's men eliminated Pep Guardiola's Barcelona

Atletico Madrid have won five of their last six previous elimination round matches against Italian opponents in the continental competition. Diego Simeone's side will be seeking a sixth when they face Inter Milan at the San Siro tonight. The two teams have met before in the 2010 UEFA Super Cup which was won by Atleti courtesy of goals from Sergio Aguero and Jose Antonio Reyes. Another heavy-weight contest now awaits tonight. Atletico Madrid have so far scored 17 UCL goals this season which is by far their best tally for a decade. Alvaro Morata has netted five of these goals in just six games he most by a Spanish player since Atletico's run to the final in 2014. 

Atleti enter into tonight's game at the backdrop of a 5-0 trumping of Las Palmas which saw them end a three-game winless streak. The Spanish powerhouse have, however, only won four games on the road in the league and will be sure to be put under intense pressure from an in-form Inter team at their San Siro home ground. The Italian giants rarely lose on home soil. 

(Image: Khel Now)