Barcelona are flying high in La Liga after a dreadful 2021-22 season, but they must pass the Inter Milan test on Wednesday night in the upcoming Champions League tie. They suffered a defeat on the road when these two sides locked horns last midweek, and a similar outcome at Camp Nou would jeopardize their potential qualification in the Round of 16.
Although the Bavarians have defeated minnows Viktoria Plzen, they were humbled by Bayern Munich in the other group stage encounter. Xavi’s men dominated the San Siro outing, however, a clinical strike from Hakan Çalhanoğlu ruined their night. Nerazzurri have been highly inconsistent in Serie A so far this season and the hosts, therefore, must take advantage of the situation by grabbing a commanding win in their own backyard.
Barcelona vs Inter Milan: Talking Tactics
Barcelona have revived the lost charm to a certain extent under Xavi’s tutelage. Their possession-based passing game and swift attacking transitions might prove troublesome for Inter Milan. 4-3-3 suits their style of play and the gaffer should stick to the same for this high-profile contest.
Inter boss Simone Inzaghi prefers a ‘back three’ where the wingbacks would form a five-man backline occasionally. They are likely to focus on defensive resilience over attacking football, also their 3-5-2 might eventually become a 5-4-1 to frustrate the Spanish giants.
Blaugrana have an injury-hit squad with an array of defenders sidelined for the upcoming fixture. Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Hector Bellerin and Andreas Christensen remain unavailable, whereas midfield ace Franck Kessie as well as attacker Memphis Depay are also ruled out on Wednesday.
Barcelona Predicted XI
Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Garcia, Alba; De Jong, Pedri, Gavi; Raphinha, Dembele, Lewandowski
Inter, too, will be without a number of key players. Romelu Lukaku is still recovering from a muscle injury, and so is Marcelo Brozovic who has a hamstring strain. Joaquin Correa has patella problems, also the likes of Dalbert, Alex Cordaz and Gabriel Brazao are out for months after damaging their ligaments.
Inter Milan Predicted XI
Onana; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Çalhanoğlu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martínez, Dzeko.
All eyes will be on Robert Lewandowski who is enjoying an astounding scoring streak. Pedri has been a revelation as a ‘number 8’, and the expertise of Frenkie de Jong should see Barcelona dominating the show from the centre of the pitch.
Çalhanoğlu’s creative spark might pose a threat in a depleted Barca defence. The all-round ability of Nicolò Barella and the flair of Lautaro Martinez could be troublesome for the hosts.
Barcelona vs Inter Milan: Streaming Links
|United Kingdom||BBC Radio 5|
|Italy||Sky Sport Football|
|New Zealand||Spark Sport|