Sports Mole previews Friday’s Champions League clash between Inter Club d’Escaldes and Vikingur Reykjavík, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Vikingur secured their spot in the final by recording a 6-1 victory over FCI Levadia on Tuesday, while Inter ran out 2-1 winners over La Fiorita to secure their spot in this match.
Inter have won Andorra’s top league in each of the last three seasons, which saw them qualify for the preliminary round of the Champions League on each occasion.
Federico Bessone‘s side have fallen at this stage of the European Cup in their last two participations, but they did reach the second qualifying round of the Europa League in 2020-21, in addition to making the second qualifying round of last season’s UEFA Conference League.
Inter had to come from behind to triumph in their semi-final against La Fiorita, with the home side taking the lead in the 45th minute of the clash through Danilo Rinaldi.
Denis Soldevila levelled the scores in the 55th minute before adding a second five minutes later, and the second-half double was enough to send the Andorran side into the final.
Vikingur, meanwhile, lifted their sixth Icelandic League Championship last year, which saw them qualify for the preliminary round of this season’s Champions League.
Vikings previously reached the first qualifying round of the European Cup back in 1992-93, while they were in the first qualifying round of the Europa League in both 2015-16 and 2020-21.
Vikingur are already 10 matches into their league season, currently sitting third in the table, boasting 19 points, and they will enter this match off the back of five straight victories in all competitions.
Arnar Gunnlaugsson‘s side entered their semi-final contest off the back of a 3-0 league win over IBV, and they comfortably progressed to the final courtesy of a 6-1 victory over FCI Levadia.
Vikings fell behind in the fifth minute of Tuesday’s contest but were 3-1 ahead at the interval and scored another three goals in the second period to move to within one win of the first qualifying round of the Champions League.
Inter Club d’Escaldes Champions League form:
Inter Club d’Escaldes form (all competitions):
Vikingur Reykjavík Champions League form:
Vikingur Reykjavík form (all competitions):
Inter have not reported any fresh injury concerns from their semi-final contest with La Fiorita, and the five substitutions that occurred on Tuesday are all believed to have been tactical.
As a result, it would not be a surprise to see the same starting XI take to the field for this match, with Soldevila, who scored both goals of the semi-final, leading the line.
Sascha Andreu and Victor Casadesus also featured in attacking positions last time out and are likely to retain their spots in the front three, with head coach Bessone set to stick with a 3-4-3 formation.
As for Vikingur, head coach Gunnlaugsson also made five changes in the second half of his side’s semi-final, with the match already finished at 4-1.
The Icelandic outfit are set to line up in a 4-3-3 formation in the final, with Nikolaj Hansen, who was on the scoresheet against FCI Levadia, leading the line once again.
Helge Gudjonsson will also be in contention after scoring off the bench last time out, but the number nine is likely to be among the substitutes for the first whistle once again.
Inter Club d’Escaldes possible starting lineup:
Coca; Roca, Feher, De Nova; Gallego, Martinez, Cabrera, Rubio; Casadesus, Soldevila, Andreu
Vikingur Reykjavík possible starting lineup:
Ingason; McLagan, Sigurdsson, Ekroth, Atlason; Punyed, Magnusson, Agnarsson; Andrason, Hansen, Ingason
We say: Inter Club d’Escaldes 1-2 Vikingur Reykjavík
Both sides will be confident heading into Friday’s affair, but we are finding it difficult to look past Vikingur in this contest. The Icelandic outfit are on a run of five straight wins in all competitions, and we are expecting Gunnlaugsson’s side to triumph in this match.