FC Barcelona (2nd, 1pts) vs Inter Milan (3rd, 1pts)
Competition/Round: 2019-20 Champions League, Group F, Matchweek 2
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti (out)
Inter Milan Outs & Doubts: Romelu Lukaku (out)
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Damir Skomina
How to watch on TV: TNT (USA), BT Sport ESPN (UK), SuperSport 6 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
Following a solid performance and their first away win of the season against Getafe in La Liga, Barcelona return home to Camp Nou for a massive Champions League match against Inter Milan in what promises to be a very good 90 minutes of football.
While Barça are struggling to be at their best with so many lineup changes due to injury and questionable coaching, Inter have exploded out of the gate winning all six opening matches in Serie A and conceding just three goals in all competitions during the first two months of the season. Antonio Conte has been as impactful as expected, and his players look very comfortable in the new 3-5-2 system that is very tough to break down at the back and tough to stop up front.
Inter will be without star striker Romelu Lukaku who has played very well so far, but Alexis Sánchez will return to Camp Nou one more time alongside Lautaro Martínez, a relatively short but incredibly dangerous strike partnership that will cause all sorts of problems for the Barça defense. Inter’s midfield has also been very strong, with Marcelo Brozovic and especially new signing Stefano Sensi dominating that area of the pitch in every game they’ve played together this season.
Despite a spectacular start to their domestic season, Inter drew against Slavia Prague at home in their first Champions League match, so they need at least a point at Camp Nou since this is the Group of Death and every result counts. Barça need to be precise, solid and clinical, and a great performance is necessary to win this one.
If Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembélé, who were medically cleared to play in this one, are available at least for a second half cameo then Barça’s chances will improve. If they don’t play and Barça can’t out-talent Inter, this one will come down to coaching. And it’s safe to say Inter have a big advantage there.
This should be good. And nervous.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Firpo; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Pérez, Suárez, Griezmann
Inter (3-5-2): Handanovic; Godín, Skriniar, De Vrij; D’Ambrosio, Barella, Brozovic, Sensi, Asamoah; Lautaro, Alexis
Big, big chance of an Inter victory based on form and quality of coaching, but Barça will find a way to win ugly: 2-1 to the home team, the type of victory you take but hate to watch.