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Intense combat between Man City and Inter Milan Champions League final of UEFA



As the ultra-wealthy club faces up against a resurgent Inter Milan, one of Europe’s old guard, Manchester City are strong favorites to win their first-ever Champions League.

Here are some of the fights that might determine how Saturday’s final in Istanbul is decided:


Erling Haaland v Francesco Acerbi

Monster striker Haaland provides City an entirely new level of offensive menace, thus Inter must remain right on top of the Norwegian to have any hope of halting Pep Guardiola’s club.

The match between Haaland and Acerbi should not take place since Inter have been without former captain and outstanding center defender Milan Skriniar for months due to a back ailment. Skriniar will join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.


Skriniar’s successor, the seasoned Italian international Acerbi, has done a good job, but he hasn’t had to cope with this kind of striker, who will lead the Champions League scoring statistics for the second time in his career at the age of 22.

A young fan outside Inter’s practice field offered the 35-year-old a fishing net so he could try to capture Haaland, encapsulating the difficulties of Acerbi’s assignment.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan vs. Kevin De Bruyne


Haaland may be the killer, but De Bruyne is the City team’s gunner, and Mkhitaryan, an all-action midfielder, will be essential in keeping him from wreaking havoc.

Since the last international break, De Bruyne has contributed to seven goals in 11 games, including two that City scored in their 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid in the second leg of their semi-final, securing their trip to Istanbul.

Mkhitaryan, a former player for Manchester United, will be the fortunate one from a three-man center trio who will most likely have to cope with De Bruyne’s advances even if Inter’s midfield attacks and defends as a unit.


Federico Dimarco vs. Kyle Walker

The wingback from Milan, who has always supported Inter and was born and bred there, has emerged in his mid-20s as a major member of his old team after spending years away on many loans.

The 25-year-old’s fight with pacy England full-back Walker will be crucial to how Inter construct attacks and break on City, who are likely to control the ball, and his delivery of venomous crosses and set-pieces.


Dimarco has been a regular for Inter this season since Ivan Perisic left for Tottenham, appearing in 10 of Inter’s 12 Champions League games and assisting five goals in the process.

Manual Akanji vs. Lautaro Martinez

Martinez, an Argentine forward, is now on another of his infamous goal-scoring runs, and the most recent one has come at the perfect moment to hurt City.


In his previous 12 games in all competitions, Martinez has scored 11 goals, and he is content to team up with either Edin Dzeko or the similarly effective Romelu Lukaku.

The more conventional center-forward Ruben Dias will be occupied by one of Dzeko or Lukaku, so Lautaro will be circling the City backline and aiming for Akanji’s position.

Hakan Calhanoglu against Ilkay Gundogan


When it matters most, Gundogan tends to rise up for City, giving the midfield a boost with Rodri and scoring the rare crucial goal, like his two-goal performance against Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Since going from one side of Milan to the other two years ago, Calhanoglu has discovered a new lease of life. He also has the extra motivation of wanting to win the Champions League in his native nation.















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