Leverkusen, next obstacle for an Inter that points to Cologne

EFE / EPA / Sascha Schuermann / Archive (Sascha Schuermann / POOL /)

Berlin / Rome, August 9 (EFE) .- Inter Milan meet Bayer Leverkusen after eliminating Getafe in the round of 16, determined to reach the final in Cologne to win an international trophy that has been missing since then 2010, when he won the Champions League.
Three-time champion of the UEFA Cup in 1991, 1994 and 1998, Inter de Antonio Conte emerges as one of the great favorites to reach the final, with a team that mixes international experience and youth.
Uruguayan Diego Godín, Englishman Ashley Young, Chilean Alexis Sánchez or Belgian Romelu Lukaku bring experience to a club that also shows young talents that already make a difference, such as Argentine Lautaro Martínez, Nicoló Barella or Alessandro Bastoni.
Lukaku himself, signed by Manchester United for more than 70 million euros last year, scored the decisive goal to eliminate Getafe in the round of 16 and has already scored 30 goals this season, his personal record.
Form an explosive striker with Lautaro Martínez, who has scored 19 goals this season and starts this Monday in Dusseldorf, while Alexis starts on the bench.
The “wonder boy” has just signed with Inter for free after leaving Manchester United for free and wants to win the first Europa League of his career.
Inter triumphed in both precedents against Bayer in the group stage of the 2002-2003 Champions League, but their trajectory in the Europa League has stalled over the past two years against German rivals.
In 2018, they surrendered to Wolfsburg, while last year they lost to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Leverkusen comes to the duel against Inter in the quarterfinals of the competition after having completed the procedure in the round of 16 against Glasgow Rangers in a match that served above all as filming since they were the first referee after the end of the Bundesliga one month.
The team had a good presentation against Rangers and the only soft spot was the lack of efficiency against the opponent’s goal in the innumerable goal opportunities it generated, although in the end they had to settle for a 1-0 victory.
However, the main concern of coach Peter Bosz after the end of the match was another: the yellow card seen by Chilean Charles Aranguiz, who was his third in the competition, which implies that he will be suspended by suspension against Inter.
Leverkusen stayed in the Bundesliga outside the boxes that qualify for the Champions League, so the only way to enter the European club competition is to win the Europa League.
However, captain Lars Bender warned that before thinking about it the team should focus on winning the next game.
“It is a unique game and that can be an advantage and a disadvantage,” he said.
“We have to get into the rhythm to get something big, but first we have to beat Inter. Then we can think about other things,” he added.
Leverkusen’s great asset is its star Kai Havertz, who is likely to leave the team at the end of the competition with a still unknown course.
Likely alignment:
Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky; Lars Bender, Sven Bender, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Wirtz, Palacios, Havertz; Bellaraby, Volland, Diaby.
Inter: Handanovic; Godín, De Vrij, Bastoni; D’Ambrosio, Gagliardini, Barella, Brozovic, Young; Lukaku and Lautaro.
Leverkusen:
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain).
Time: 9:00 pm (7:00 pm GMT).
Stadium: Esprit Arena (Dusseldorf).

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