Barcelona vs Inter Milan. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more￼
When it comes to football, this calendar month is shaping up to be a busy one, with a lot of exciting duels ahead of us. This midweek will bring a number of entertaining encounters, and perhaps the highlight will be the arrival of Nerazzurri to the Camp Nou.
Barcelona lost 0-1 to Inter in Italy and will be looking for revenge at a monstrous 99,354-seat home ground. But will the Blaugrana manage to get a much needed 3 points? An unsatisfactory result could leave them in a de facto early capitulation in this UCL campaign.
So what can the Catalans hope for? Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Barcelona News & Current Form:
Barca was in much the same situation a year ago. Back then, even the switch from Ronald Koeman to Xavi didn’t help. Even under the legend, one of the most beloved clubs of the world had failed to score against Benfica and lost to an unmotivated Bayern, thereby losing their play-off spot. Now Lewandowski is already playing for the Catalans, but Groundhog Day is happening despite his efforts.
Initially, it looked as though Barcelona would have to fight Bayern for top spot in the group. Now, after three games, the Catalans are only third. The Blues have just one win over bottom-flight underdogs Viktoria Plzen (5-1). In their games against direct rivals, FC Barcelona suffered two defeats and did not score a single goal (2-0 against FC Bayern and 1-0 against Inter).
If Xavi fails to progress out of the group, it will be the loudest failure of his career so far. Barcelona have two home matches ahead of them against direct contenders for the playoffs. This is a great opportunity to rectify the situation, but the club’s form at the moment leaves a lot to be desired. In addition, the team is coming into this important period with a lot of injuries.
The hosts currently have a difficult situation in the defensive line. Ronald Araújo and Jules Koundé were supposed to be the team’s reliable long-term bromance at the back, but they are still sidelined due to the injuries which makes them unable to reach the ‘sky’s the limit’ potential. Andreas Christensen, another choice in the centre of defence, and RB Hector Bellerin, who has yet to play properly for his new team, are also out.
Memphis Depay was due to leave the club in the summer but it didn’t work out. He is now also in the sickbay. Looking at the overall injury situation, there are a total of 5 players in the team’s medical.
Talking of the key trump card of Catalans – Robert Lewandowski absolutely tore apart all the opponents at the new club (12 goals and 2 assists in 11 games), but the international break has somewhat slowed down the Pole. And then the scary thing was revealed: if Robert is not in form, the goals for Barcelona come with great difficulty. So, for example, the next best scorers after Pole are Ousmane Dembele – 2 goals and 4 assists, and Ansu Fati – 2 goals and 3 assists. The disparity is enormous. In the four games in which the Pole has not scored, the team have managed to net only one goal. Inter, for their part, just ‘switched off’ Robert last week: the striker took one shot in a match and statistical websites slapped him a dull 6.2 rating.
On top of all the problems mentioned above, the financial situation at the club is dire and if the Spaniards repeat another poor season, the club could go bankrupt, although they have managed to hide it for now and the situation in the domestic league, for example, offers some hope.
In their last La Liga game, Xavi’s side beat Celta de Vigo 1-0 with a minimal scoreline. Pedri netted the only goal in the 17th minute. The visitors played solidly in defence and Barcelona had few dangerous chances in the encounter. However, the Catalans managed to secure 3 points and continue their run for the gold medals. Now Barcelona are in first place in the Spanish championship. The team has 22 points on its books. The same number is held by Real Madrid but the Blue Granatas are better on goal difference. 20-1 for Barcelona and 19-7 for Real.
The latter victory was the seventh in a row in the Spanish championship. In total, the Blugrana have seven wins and one draw in the eight rounds of La Liga. Overall, the numbers look really impressive, a synergy of an unbelievably luxurious debt-blowing transfer campaign and the talent of club legend Xavi Hernández.
The situation in the elite tournament can still be changed, and not for nothing do many see Barcelona as the favourites of the upcoming clash, with their opponents Inter not being at their best at the moment.
Inter Milan News & Current Form:
The Nerazzurri won the Scudetto the season before last, under Antonio Conte. Inzaghi failed to retain the title but, given the difficult situation around the club, last season, 2021/2022, could well be considered a success as they won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.
In the new draw, however, the Nerazzurri have been disappointing and the trend so far has not been encouraging – they have lost too often, and to serious opponents. Such was the case in the Champions League: 0-2 in Milan against Bayern, though, with the subsequent victory over the underdog of the quartet, Czech Republic’s Viktoria Plezn. Despite this positive result, Simone was in direct danger of being sacked after losing another important match, as José Mourinho’s AS Roma proved stronger at the Juzepe Meazza Stadium (1-2).
However, in the decisive moment, last Tuesday, it turned out quite in the Italian style to give an albeit minimal but result against Barcelona. The controversial decisions of the referees and all other controversies can be left out of the equation.
Now Inter are in a similar situation with Barca to some extent. Injury of Romelu Lukaku has dealt a blow to the Italians’ attacking potential. They are scoring steadily but not enough. Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez are inferior to the Belgian in terms of producing goals but they remain the non-alternative link-up for Inzaghi. Talking about overall injury situations: there are 6 players on the injured list (the same as Barca).
The Inter coach, unlike his opponents, prefers a two-striker formation. The situation is such that Martinez and Dzeko simply have no alternative at the moment. Joaquin Correa is also injured at the moment, and the youngsters aren’t up to the Serie A level, not to mention the Champions League and matches against giants like Barcelona. But there are reasons to be positive, as Inter outplayed Sassuolo 2-1 away in Serie A at the weekend. Edin Dzeko was the author of the double, which suggests he will continue to perform that way in the next game.
The Milan club are currently sitting outside the Eurocup zone in the Serie A standings. The team are seventh on the table with 15 points (8 points behind leader Napoli). The goal difference is 16-14. In 12 matches in all competitions, the team has not conceded in only four, although last season the Serie A side averaged 0.83 goals conceded and produced 15 clean sheet games which was some kind of their fundamentals that was keeping them afloat. Now, however, the Black & Blues have the most goals conceded in Serie A’s top 10.
Looking at the UCL situation, it is a bit shaky too: Simone Inzaghi’s side sit second in the group with six points. The goal difference is 3-2.
In essence, the Italians succeeded in the first game thanks to a well-coordinated and reliable game in defence, to which Barcelona failed to find the keys (which is very strange, given the number of conceded goals in Serie A). Inzaghi is likely to employ the same tactic in the return leg, but there is a risk that it might not work. The saving grace here is that a draw in Barcelona should satisfy the visitors in terms of the table situation, and Inter will be relying on that.
Even if you look at the recent matches between these teams, the Nerazzurri are only successful when they play defensively. Inter are good at catching opponents on the counterattack. If the Italians are not too eager to attack, which they do not need to be, they can once again play well defensively to secure the right result by any means.
The fact that the strength of the Catalans’ attack is very much in doubt plays into their hands. Only Robert Lewandowski is truly dangerous, and his partners are not impressive at all at the moment. The main thing for Inter to achieve an acceptable result is to isolate the Pole, who is not at his best, and they have done so successfully once.
Barcelona form guide: W-L-W-W-L-W
Inter Milan form guide: W-W-L-L-W-W
Barcelona vs Inter Milan Head-To-Head Record:
The teams frequently cross paths in the Champions League. This tournament has seen 11 of their 17 meetings. The Blues are ahead 6-2 in this competition, with three draws.
At home, Barcelona have won all five of their Champions League games. Two more games were played in the Europa League. The clubs have one win each. In 3 of the last 4 matches, two goals or fewer have been scored.
The opponents met in the last round of the current UCL campaign: the Nerazzurri won thanks to Hakan Calhanoglu’s goal in first half stoppage time (1-0). Inter could have taken the lead even earlier, but in the 24th minute the referee canceled out a Barça penalty after an intervention from VAR. The Italians played reliably defensively and managed not only to impose their scenario on the Catalans, but also to claim all 3 points. Inter pressed smartly while also exploiting low defensive block which did not allow the Barcelona players to control the ball.
Barcelona vs Inter Milan Predicted XI:
Barcelona possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, E Garcia, Alonso; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Dembele, Lewandowski, Fati.
Inter Milan possible starting lineup: Onana; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; L Martinez, Dzeko.
Statistical preview of the match Barcelona vs Inter Milan:
- Barcelona have not lost in 7 of the last 8 home games.
- Barcelona have won in each of their last 5 Champions League home games against Inter Milan.
- Barcelona have scored in each of their last 7 Champions League games against Inter Milan.
- Barcelona have scored less than 1.5 goals in 11 of the last 12 Champions League games.
- In 8 of Barcelona’s 10 home games in the UCL, 3 or more goals have been scored.
- Inter Milan have scored and conceded in 9 of the last 10 away games.
- Inter Milan are unbeaten in seven of their nine away games in the Champions League.
- Inter Milan have scored less than 1.5 goals in 9 of the last 10 Champions League games against Barcelona
- Inter Milan have scored in 26 of the last 27 games.
- Inter Milan have scored less than 2.5 goals in each of their last 8 games in all tournaments.
What has been said before the match:
Xavi Hernandez, the Barcelona gaffer:
“This is a special match, we did not do our homework well by losing the away games,” Xavi told a press conference Tuesday. Now we are at home and we can put ourselves back together. We know the pressure is on us, what is expected of us, and we’ll give everything.”
“Logically we were indignant after the game but that’s it. Tomorrow we have to play better. If we improve our performance maybe we don’t need to talk about the referees… We have to be more aggressive, direct, arrive in the box better, take shots from outside the box, we have to be brave, only the three points does it for us. We have to compete in the best way possible, there’s talent, there’s desire – for revenge too after what happened in Milan.”
“We’re expecting something similar to what we saw last week. They’re very defensive, normally they sit a long way back with a medium block. We’ve been working hard in training to try and work that out better. I think we’ve improved on the Barça we were in the last 15-20 minutes in Milan.”
Pedri, Barcelona midfielder:
“It’s like a final for us, it’s a very important match. We hope it will be a good one, that it will work out the way we want and that we’ll be able to progress from the group stage.”
Simone Inzaghi, the Inter Milan gaffer:
“We know that tomorrow’s match is a big one. In the first leg we said it would be an opportunity to grow and we managed to take advantage of it well. From the day of the draw we knew we had to do something extraordinary and we are going into this match giving everything. It will be tough, but we are Inter and we will try to play our own game, knowing that we will have to be capable of suffering in defence all together”
Xavi at the pre-match press conference
Barcelona vs Inter Milan Prediction:
Inter not only concede more this season, they also score less frequently. Only twice this season have they scored more than two goals per game, playing against far inferior teams – La Spezia and Cremonese. At the same time, the Nerazzurri have failed to score in only one game of the season – in a defeat against the Bavarians (0-2). In other words, despite their relatively lacklustre performance, they have steadily managed to crack the defense of opposition.
Barcelona have scored at least three goals in six of their 11 games this season, but they rely heavily on prolific super-star Lewandowski – the recent few games have provided clear demonstration of that.
At the same time, the average of 2.3 goals scored per game suggests that scoring at least 1 goal for such a motivated, star-packed team is more than doable. And the former Bayern Munich striker will sooner or later return to his form, which might happen right in this upcoming contest. And let’s not forget here that the Italians’ current defensive reliability is at the bottom of the Serie A table.
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Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: both teams to score and the match total less than 4.5 – Yes.