Christian Vieri believes that Inter are in a better position than Milan heading into the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at San Siro on Wednesday evening and has claimed that the absence of Rafael Leao will take ‘50% off’ Stefano Pioli’s side.
Meanwhile Milan, despite beating Lazio relatively comfortably at the weekend, had slipped to draws against both Roma and 10-man Cremonese in their two game prior.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Vieri insisted: “Inter will arrive in better shape. Three games, nine points, 11 goals scored, they’re in good form. But will we get the Milan that was about to lose to Cremonese or the one that easily beat Lazio?
“Inter are better off because, above all, they have the strongest squad, starting with the attack. In theory they can’t lose to anyone.”
The potential absence of influential Milan forward Rafael Leao is a factor that will weigh heavily on the Rossoneri and his attacking input will be sorely missed if he is not able to play, according to Vieri.
“It takes 50% off Milan, more or less,” he said about Leao’s recent injury. “He and Theo are the ones who give Milan their big breaks, especially in games like this. And he is the one who has the ability to change the game on his own.”
Meanwhile, Inter have a talismanic goalscorer of their own. And, with four goals in his last three appearances, Vieri believes that Lautaro Martinez could be the bright spark that swings the tie in Inter’s favour.
“Lautaro? The facts speak for themselves,” Vieri insisted. “He won the World Cup and has 23 goals scored in Serie A. He scores whenever he plays. Leao has been more up and down, but lately he has given what is expected of him.