Real Madrid will be aiming to register their first win of the 2020/21 Champions League group stage when they host Inter Milan at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
Los Blancos have started their defence of their La Liga title in good fashion and barring the shock defeat against Cadiz, they have been impressive in the rest of their matches.
The capital outfit have already accumulated 16 points from seven matches and that sees them only behind Real Sociedad, who have already played an additional game.
However, their fortunes in Europe have been the exact opposite. They have not won any Champions League game since the previous group stage and have picked up just one point from two matches this term.
They suffered a rather surprise 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donestk in the curtain-raiser and part of the blame can be put on Zinedine Zidane, who underestimated them and started Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema on the bench.
They managed to avoid another loss with a superb comeback after Borussia Monchengladbach where they scored twice after the 86th minute to register a 2-2 draw on the road.
Inter Milan, on the other hand, have had an average beginning to their Serie A campaign and have already dropped seven points from their opening six matches.
They suffered a 2-1 derby defeat to AC Milan before the international break and since their return to action, they have picked up just one more victory from three domestic games.
Their European form has been far from impressive with draws against Monchengladbach and Shakhtar and are currently third on the table behind the former.
Both teams are in desperate need of points on Tuesday night, but Los Blancos can be considered as the front-runners for the contest with the better momentum resulting from their domestic form.
Los Blancos have failed to win each of their previous four European matches and that includes both legs of the round of 16 tie against Manchester City last term.
There have been nine previous meetings between the clubs. Inter have had the upper hand, having won five of those games. Los Blancos have picked up three victories during that period.
They have not faced each other in the competition since the 1998/1999 group stage. Los Blancos picked up a 2-0 win at the Bernabeu, but struggled in the reverse meeting at San Siro where they suffered a 3-1 loss.
Real Madrid will be without a specialist right-back for the game. Dani Carvajal (knee ligament), Alvaro Odriozola (calf) and Nacho (thigh) are all on the sidelines with injuries while Eder Militao has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
They has been some positive news on the injury front with Martin Odegaard finally returning to first-team training after a calf problem. Lucas Vazquez, who has acted as the makeshift right-back, suffered an injury scare against Huesca, but he has returned to training as well.
Inter don’t have any first-team players, who have been infected by COVID-19. Milan Skriniar recently recovered from the virus and he could make his comeback against Los Blancos. Elsewhere, Matias Vecino remains a long-term absentee after the knee injury suffered in July while Stefano Sensi is also out as he continues to recover from a thigh problem.
Romelu Lukaku could be the biggest miss for the Nerazzurri as he has reportedly not travelled to Madrid. He was left out of the weekend’s league clash with a thigh problem and appears set to miss the midweek game. Alexis Sanchez is, however, back in contention.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos, Casemiro; Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Danilo D’Ambrosio, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Achraf Hakimi, Marcelo Brozovic, Arturo Vidal, Ashley Young, Nicolo Barella; Lautaro Martinez, Ivan Perisic
Real Madrid and Inter Milan have picked up just one and two points respectively in Group B and that is quite disappointing, given they are deemed the favourites to qualify for the round of 16.
Both teams will be desperate to register their maiden win, but Los Blancos may have the edge on Tuesday with Eden Hazard back fit and firing after his hamstring injury.
In comparison, Inter Milan will be without their key striker in Lukaku and that is certainly a big loss, considering he has netted five of their previous six goals in Europe including a brace in the draw at Monchengladbach.
Real Madrid 3-1 Inter Milan
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Worldfootball.net