FC Inter Milan (3rd, 3pts) vs FC Barcelona (2nd, 3pts)
Competition/Round: 2022-23 UEFA Champions League, Group C, Matchday 3
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Frenkie De Jong, Memphis Depay, Héctor Bellerín (out)
Inter Milan Outs & Doubts: Romelu Lukaku, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Cordaz (out), Lautaro Martínez (doubt)
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: San Siro, Milan, Italy
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
How to watch on TV: TUDN (USA), Not Available (Canada), BT Sport 4 (UK), Canal+ Sport 3 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
Following a hard-fought win away to Mallorca to continue their unbeaten start to the La Liga season, Barcelona face a major continental test as they travel to Italy for a massive Champions League group stage clash against Inter Milan at San Siro.
The Blaugrana begin a crucial two-game series with Inter over the next 8 days which will have a huge impact in their ability to qualify for the Champions League knockouts. The defeat against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena made it paramount for Barça to get at least three points out of the two clashes with the Italians to keep their hopes of reaching the Round of 16 alive ahead of the final two games in the group, and four or even six points will put them in pole position to finish second.
Inter deserve huge respect for how well they’ve played in Serie A over the last two seasons, but if there’s a good time to be facing the Nerazzurri this is it. A very slow start to their domestic campaign has raised big questions about manager Simone Inzaghi, who could see himself out of a job if things go south over the next few weeks.
To make matters worse they go into this one without their two best players, Romelu Lukaku and Marcelo Brozovic, due to injury, and striker Lautaro Martínez is a major doubt for Tuesday’s match with a muscle problem. The team isn’t scoring enough and the defense continues to struggle, and they are simply not as big of a threat as they seemed when the group stage draw was made and it felt as though Barça were in the Group of Death.
But one big result is all Inter need to turn everything around, and there’s no bigger result than beating Barça at home missing their best players to move to second place in the group and gain massive confidence. There is still enough talent even with the injuries, and they’re a big threat on set pieces despite all the other issues in the team.
Barça arrive in this one full of confidence and should be considered favorites due to Inter’s form and absences, but the one thing Xavi Hernández hasn’t yet done as Barça manager is win a big European match, especially on the road. This is one of those, and it’s time for the coach and the team to prove themselves on the big stage.
Inter aren’t doing well but it doesn’t mean they’ll be bad on Tuesday. It certainly doesn’t mean the game will be easy. Barça must be at their best, and any result that isn’t a loss should be cause for positivity. For the situation in the group a point isn’t the worst thing in the world, but the Blaugrana must be hungry for all three.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Christensen, Eric, Alonso; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Raphinha
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Onana; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Asllani, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Dzeko, Correa
Inter’s current form and injuries have suddenly made this a much more interesting game. When the draw was made I would have been happy with a point at San Siro, but we have a real shot to win now. And I think we’ll do just that: 3-1 to the good guys.