UEFA Champions League: Inter vs Barcelona preview


It's time for another big clash in UEFA Champions League Group B as leaders Barcelona visit second-placed Inter at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in Milan on Tuesday. Two weeks ago Barcelona won the reverse fixture 2-0, with goals from Rafinha and Jordi Alba. That was the first match between these two sides after Barcelona's unexpected defeat against Inter in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2010. Overall, Barcelona have won four of the seven direct matches against Inter Milan, while Inter have only won once. However, Barcelona haven't won any of the three matches they played against Inter in Milan.

Inter are hoping to at least secure their second place in Group B, Barcelona are at the top of the table on nine points while the Nerazzurri are three points behind, with both PSV and Tottenham stuck on one point each. If Inter manage to secure a draw against Barcelona, then they can afford to play for draws against both PSV and Spurs, but if they lose on Tuesday then things could get quite complicated. After the 2-0 defeat in Barcelona, Inter bounced back in style in Serie A, winning 3-0 at Lazio and then 5-0 at home against Genoa last weekend. Head coach Luciano Spalletti doesn't have any injury concerns ahead of this match.

Barcelona are on a five-match winning streak in all competitions and they have not lost any of their last eight matches. If they pull off a victory in Milan then they would secure their passage to the second round of the UEFA Champions League, but the current group situation would give Barca a solid chance of qualifying even if they lose the game. Last weekend the Blaugrana struggled to get past Rayo Vallecano, they eventually won the match 3-2 thanks to late goals from Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez. Lionel Messi has not fully recovered from his fractured arm but he was included in the squad and might even make the bench. Thomas Vermaelen remains sidelined, while Samuel Umtiti is an injury doubt.

Probable line-ups:

Inter: Handanovic - D'Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Asamoah - Vecino, Brozovic - Candreva, Borja Valero, Perisic - Icardi

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

My prediction: Barcelona to win 2-1, the Blaugrana should be too strong for Inter, even though the Nerazzurri have been playing well lately.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Inter win - 3.80
Draw - 3.80
Barcelona win - 2.00

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