Inter vs Shakhtar DonetskUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Aug 17, 2020, Merkur Spiel-Arena
THE second Europa League semi-final comes from the Merkur Spiel-Arena on Monday night as Inter Milan meet Shakhtar Donetsk.
Both sides comfortably qualified to set up this final-four showdown with Inter beating Bayer Leverkusen while Shakhtar shredded Swiss side Basel.
Antonio Conte's star-studded are the bookies favourites to lift the trophy at a best 13/8 with Bet 365 while Shakhtar are the outsiders in the outright betting at an eye-catching 9/1 with the same firm.
Conte made it very clear from the off that his side are in the Europa League to win it however, the Italian's future has since been thrown into doubt following some scathing comments that were directed towards the San Siro hierarchy.
Standing in Inter's way of a Europa League final appearance is a Shakhtar Donetsk side who have been in red-hot form since the resumption having won nine of their last 11 tussles across all competitions.
The Ukrainian giants domestic season concluded in mid-July where they cruised to yet another league crown having finished a resounding 23 points clear of second-placed Dynamo Kiev.
Shakhtar, despite avoiding defeat across each of their last 11 fixtures, come into this clash as big outsiders at 15/4 with William Hill.
Shakhtar striker Junior Moraes' early strike against Basel sent Luis Castro's free-scoring side on their way to comfortable quarter-final victory and it also helped me land a full house of winners in my match preview.
Indeed, Moraes will attract plenty of attention to score anytime in this semi-final at 11/5 with UniBet, however, I'm more attracted to the 23/20 on offer with BetVictor for Inter hitman Romelu Lukaku to hit the back of the net.
For all of Shakhtar's attacking talent, they are defensively vulnerable – Shakhtar have recorded just a solitary shutout across their last 28 continental clashes and eight of their 11 European encounters this term have seen both sides get on the scoreboard.
Such defensive frailty does not bode well for a Shakhtar side who are set to come up against deadly strike duo Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku – and I fancy the latter to continue his fine form in front goal when faced with a shaky Shakhtar backline.
To date, Lukaku has made the net bulge 31 times during his maiden season in Milan and after scoring in the previous two straight knock-out ties I'm happy to back the brilliant Belgian at odds-against to notch on Monday night.
Whether or not Lukaku gets on the scoresheet remains to be seen, however, I do fancy goals in Dusseldorf given that each of the Ukrainian's last five European outings have produced over 2.5 strikes.
What's more, eight of Shakhtar's last 11 European encounters have seen both sides oblige but a repeat on Monday night looks a bit short at quotes of 4/6 with most bookmakers.
However, combining both teams to score alongside over 2.5 match goals will boost the price up to a much more enticing 21/20 with Bet 365 – a combination that clicked in seven of Shakhtar's last 10 continental clashes.
Both sides are stacked with attacking talent and collectively both teams have scored two or more goals across their last eight Europa League fixtures, all of which adds to the appeal of siding with the above-mentioned betting angle at the Merkur Spiel-Arena.
This UEFA Europa League match between Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk will be played on Aug 17, 2020 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Inter vs Shakhtar Donetsk prediction.