UEFA Champions League: Barcelona vs Inter preview


The most efficient teams in UEFA Champions League Group B clash on Wednesday evening, when Barcelona host Serie A side Inter at Camp Nou. The two sides have not met since the 2009-2010 season, when they clashed no less than four times in the Champions League. The first couple of meetings were in the group stage and both teams qualified after a goalless draw in Milan and a 2-0 victory for Barcelona in Catalonia. Then they met again in the semi-finals, and Inter pulled through after a 3-1 victory at home and a 1-0 defeat at Camp Nou. Inter Milan went on to win the trophy under the guidance of head coach Jose Mourinho, it was the last time they won an European crown.

Barcelona have re-started things well after the international break, they had a tough match against LaLiga leaders Sevilla but they pulled off a 4-2 victory last weekend and leapfrogged them at the top of the table. That was the fourth match without defeat in all competitions for Barcelona, but they only won two of those four. However, their Champions League campaign is right on track after a 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in the opening match and a 4-2 victory at Tottenham last time out. Lionel Messi picked up an arm fracture against Sevilla at the weekend and will be unavailable for Wednesday's match, while defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti are out of contention as well.

Inter are in great form, they have won their last seven matches in all competitions and everything culminated last weekend with a 1-0 victory over rivals AC Milan in the "Derby della Madonnina". Inter have not scored more than two goals in any of those seven wins, but they did manage to keep three clean sheets and conceded just one goal per match in the other four games. In the Champions League Inter have won both their matches so far, 2-1 at home against Tottenham and 2-1 at PSV Eindhoven last time out. Midfielder Radja Nainggolan sprained his ankle during the match against AC Milan and will be unavailable for Wednesday's game, while Ivan Perisic or Marcelo Brozovic are both injury doubts.

Probable line-ups:

Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba - Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur - Dembele, Suarez, Coutinho

Inter: Handanovic - Miranda, De Vrij, Skriniar - Vrsaljko, Vecino, Valero, Asamoah - Politano, Martinez - Icardi

My prediction: Barcelona to win 1-0, Inter will defend well but Barca should be able to find a way through.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Barcelona win - 1.53
Draw - 4.50
Inter win - 6.50

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