Inter struggled against Getafe despite the 2-0 scoreline. Getafe's aggressive pressing, flank heavy tactics caused Conte a lot of problems. Getafe created the better chances and should have pushed Inter closer (xG 0.75-2.06) in Getafe's favour. The Spanish side actually managed to get off 8 attempts inside Inter box which is a little bit concerning.
Inter have looked shaky at the back for a while now despite have a number of stud CB's. Their weakness however in my opinion is down the flanks and in their CM's, mainly Barilla and Gagliardini who are far from elite when Inter are defending
Since lockdown we saw them struggle in games they shouldn't have. Sassuolo put 3 past them, Parma pushed them close (2-1) Bologna beat them (2-1) Verona drew 2-2, and Roma outplayed them despite the 2-2 scoreline.
Inter have been playing close to two matches a week for the past 7 weeks without much of a break. Leverkusen will come into the game fresher and better prepared. Since the Bundesliga wrapped up (6 weeks ago) Leverkusen have played two games (Bayern in the DFB Pokal final and Rangers in their R16 2nd leg).
Inter have played 5 matches away from the San Siro in Europe this season and conceded 2 goals per game and 1.78xGA per game. Only away to Ludogorets did they really perform and that's not a challenging tie.
Expected XI: Handanovic (c) - Godin/Škriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni - D'Ambrosio, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Barella, Young - Lukaku, Sanchez/Lautaro (Conte isn't expected to change too much from the XI that started against Getafe)
Leverkusen, as we know, are one of the better attacking teams in Europe. Despite a lot of inconsistency, they finished as the 5th best-attacking team in Germany, behind Bayern, BVB, Gladbach, and RB Leipzig.
Things didn't work for the Germans in the UCL group phase, luck was not on their side and they drew Juve and Atleti so it was always going to be an uphill battle from there.
From that group phase there were some positives. They beat Lokomotiv 2-0 in Moscow, They beat Atletico Madrid at home. Since being dumped out of the UCL things have looked better in Europe. They beaten Porto 3-1 (xG 1.66-0.59), and beat Rangers 4-1 on agg (combined xG 3.25 - 1.3)
This challenge against Inter is a step up in quality but I think they match up well. Leverkusen have young quick dynamic players (Havertz, Diaby, Bellarabi, and Bailey) who can cause Inter's heavy legs all kinds of problems.
Although this is a neutral venue, Leverkusen will be playing in their home country. They will also only be playing about 50km away in Düsseldorf (Merkur Spiel-Arena) so it more of a home game for them.
Peter Bosz is a manager with a fantastic record in this competition. He famously took Ajax to a final and has since gone unbeaten in the competition since then with Leverkusen (W4 D2 L0, 10 scored - 4 conceded). One truth that can be said about Conte, is that historically is game hasn't had much success in Europe, even when he was in charge at Juve and Chelsea. Conte's best ever finishes in the UEL and UCL have been reaching the R16
Although both clubs will want the Silverware, I think motivation will be higher for the Germans, Leverkusen finished 5th in the Bundesliga this season and missed out on the UCL for next season. Should they win this tournament however they will qualify
Leverkusen +0.5 Asian Handicap at 1.83 with Bet365- 2 units