When Barcelona plays host to Inter Milan on Wednesday night at Camp Nou for an important match, the Catalan club will be seeking to give their chances of advancing to the knockout stage of the Champions League a significant boost.
The Catalan club is now in the third position in Group C, three points behind second-placed Inter, which is due to Inter’s 1-0 win against the Catalan side at San Siro last week. Inter is currently in second place in the group.
Match Preview: Barcelona vs Inter Milan
Barcelona failed to go beyond the group stage in the Champions League last season. With three points from three matches, they sit third in Group C, three points behind Inter and six behind Bayern Munich.
Xavi’s team started their group-stage campaign with a 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen on September 7 but have lost their previous two. They fell 2-0 at Bayern before losing 1-0 to Inter at San Siro, with Hakan Calhanoglu scoring late in the first half.
Barcelona knows it must win Wednesday’s match and is happy to be back at Camp Nou, where they haven’t lost since May.
Barcelona has struggled in the Champions League this season, but they’ve been fantastic in La Liga. Pedri scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win against Celta Vigo on Sunday night.
Barcelona is equal on points (22) with Real Madrid ahead of this weekend’s El Clasico, but Xavi’s squad can’t look beyond Wednesday’s European clash.
Inter entered last week’s match against Barcelona after Serie A losses to Udinese and Roma, but they won.
Simone Inzaghi’s team lost 2-0 to Bayern in their group opener on September 7 but beat Plzen 2-0 before beating Barcelona. With six points, they are in second place, three points behind Bayern, the favorites to win the group.
Inter enters this match after beating Sassuolo 2-1 in Serie A. Eden Dzeko scored twice for the Milan giants, who sit seventh with 15 points.
The Italian giants made it through the group stage of last season’s European Cup but lost to Liverpool in the round of 16. They haven’t made it through the first knockout phase since 2010-11.
The Black and Blues defeated 2-1 at Camp Nou in the group stage of 2019-20, but Barcelona has lost three of its past six Champions League matches in front of its own fans.
Team News: Barcelona vs Inter Milan
Frenkie de Jong made his return for Barcelona against Celta after an injury, while Andreas Christensen, Hector Bellerin, Ronald Araujo, Memphis Depay, and Jules Kounde all stay out.
Xavi, the team’s head coach, has said that he will be making substitutions from the starting lineup that faced Celta, with Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, and Eric Garcia all in consideration for starting duties.
Marcos Alonso may start at left back, with Gerard Pique partnering Garcia in the center, although Gavi, Pedri, and Sergio Busquets are expected to return to the starting lineup in the midfield.
Former starter Franck Kessie, who had been out lately with a thigh injury, has been included in the matchday roster. Dalbert, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Cordaz, Joaquin Correa, and Gabriel Brazao all remain out for Inter, the Italian powerhouse.
Romelu Lukaku may be ready for selection after recuperating from the muscle injury that has sidelined the Belgium international since the end of August, but he will not be considered for a starting role.
Along with Lautaro Martinez, Dzeko is expected to start up top for the Reds. Denzel Dumfries may start on the right flank for them, with Federico Dimarco on the left.
- Barcelona Possible Starting Lineup: E Pedri, Garcia, Lewandowski, Busquets, Stegen, Dembele, Ter Gavi, Alonso, Fati Pique, Roberto.
- Inter Milan Possible Starting Lineup: Skriniar, Dumfries, De Calhanoglu, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Onana, Dimarco, L Martinez, Dzeko Bastoni, Vrij.
Our Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Inter Milan
There is no way to minimize the significance of this match, as Barcelona absolutely must win all three points to improve their chances of advancing to the knockout round. We anticipate this to be a very close game with Inter having more than enough ability to pick up a good result. But Barcelona should have just enough at home to grab a really important victory.
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