A first ever competitive meeting between two of the biggest clubs in the world couldn't come at a more crucial moment for each as Manchester City and Inter Milan face off in the 2023 UEFA Champions League final from the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
Pep Guardiola's City team will come into this game heavy favourites as they look to polish off an historic treble and become just the second English team in history to do so, after city rivals Manchester United achieved the feat in 1999. Were the Premier League side to win this game and complete the treble, they would also become just the eighth European team in history to clinch it, the last being their opponents Inter Milan in 2009-10 under Jose Mourinho.
After wrapping up the Premier League title, City appeared to take their foot off the gas, drawing 1-1 with Brighton and losing 1-0 to Brentford in their final two league games of the season, with some perhaps even concerned about their form going into last weekend's FA Cup final against Manchester United.
However, a wonderful display, not done justice by the 2-1 scoreline, saw Guardiola's men comfortaby brush aside their old rivals to make it two out of three and set up arguably the biggest game in their club's history this weekend.
Despite the widespread expectation that City will win this game and secure the treble, Simone Inzaghi's Inter Milan side will have no interest whatsoever in rolling over for their opponents in Istanbul.
They themselves have had a fantastic season, winning their own domestic cup, the Coppa Italia, finishing third in Serie A during a campaign which left no team with any chance of catching an outrageous Napoli side, and reaching the final of the Champions League.
There is a skill gap between the two sides but Inter are more than capable of pulling off the upset here. They have a team full of experience at the very top level, a coach who has done it all as a player and lived through so many huge moments, and decades of history to draw from, something City do not.
The English team have written themselves into the history books over the last fifteen years, whether people like it or not, but that elusive European crown still evades them. They may never get a better opportunity than this to do something truly iconic.
Before this season, Inter hadn't been to a Champions League quarter final in 13 years, so to see them in the final will come as a surprise to many. City are contesting their second in three seasons, after losing to Chelsea in the final two years ago.
It would be fair to say that Inter had quite the favourable draw. After emerging from their group at the expense of a lacklustre Barcelona and minnows Viktoria Plzen, despite losing home and away to Bayern Munich, Inter navigated two-legged ties against Porto, Benfica and city rivals AC Milan, to reach this final. While this is certainly no mean feat, and Inzaghi will rightly be immensely proud of his players, it pales in comparison to what City have been up against.
After winning an admittedly easier group, City then demolished RB Leipzig 8-1 on aggregate in the last 16, a team arguably stronger than any Inter faced in the knockout rounds this season, and then dispatched two of the tournament's favourites in Bayern and Real Madrid.
They have proven they can beat the very best this season and will be justifiably brimming with confidence. They possess the top goalscorer in European football this season, the monstrous Erling Haaland, their captain Ilkay Gundogan has once again rose to the occasion at the right time, and across the pitch they are putting in five star performances. It just feels like their time.
But could Inter prove to be the party poopers? Whether Inzaghi decides to partner their World Cup winning forward Lautaro Martinez with former City man Edin Dzeko or his favourite strike partner Romelu Lukaku, they will have more than enough quality up top to cause problems for City when they get the chance. Behind them will be a fine mixture of youthful exuberance and veteran savvy across the pitch, which they will need if they hope to keep City quiet and stay in the game.
This would by no means be the biggest upset in football history.
Nonetheless, bookies and fans alike will have City down as firm favourites to win their first ever UEFA Champions League and complete an historic treble this weekend in Istanbul.
Apart from a couple of friendlies, this will be the first time the two sides have ever met, so we don't have a lot of historical data to go on.
In terms of teams news, defender Nathan Ake is a slight doubt for City but should be fit to make the squad, leaving Guardiola with no real issues in terms of injuries or suspensions to worry about.
Inter Milan will face late fitness tests for former Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and forward Joaquín Correa, but should have both available for this contest.
Assuming there are no serious knocks during the week, we can expect to see two full strength squads face off in this monumentous clash this weekend.
Fans in the UK will be overjoyed to learn that not only can they watch this match live on TV on BT Sport 1 or BT Sport Ultimate, but also completely free via live streaming on the BT Sport YouTube channel, app or website.
Expert Insight: Inter will be desperate to deny City from becoming the eighth team to do what they did just over a decade ago and win a treble. Expect them to exercise game management, sit deep and attempt to stifle their opponents. City will recycle and retain the ball with aplomb, as they always do, and will likely unlock the door at some point to score one or two vital goals on their way to winning the Champions League.