? A Big European Night: Barcelona vs Inter Milan Preview

Wed 02 October 2019 | 10:58

Having drawn their opening games in the UEFA Champions League 2019-20 group stage, both Barcelona and Inter Milan start their campaigns when they clash in the Group F fixture at Camp Nou.

Competition: 2019-20 Champions League, Group F, Matchweek 2

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK)

Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Referee: Damir Skomina

Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti (out)

Inter Milan Outs & Doubts: Romelu Lukaku (out)

Barca have had a difficult start to the season, losing two of their opening seven La Liga games and holding on for a goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund in their opening Group F game.

Inter also drew their opening game at home to Slavia Prague, but Antonio Conte's side sit top of Serie A with six wins from six - and the Nerazzurri should offer the Blaugrana a real contest in Catalonia.

Messi's adductor problem will be a big blow for Barcelona as he is so important to the way they play and because it further limits Valverde's options.

The Argentinian may be fit enough for a spot on the bench but he is unlikely to be fit enough to start and the same goes for French winger Dembele.

Lenglet is likely to retain his place alongside Pique in defense, despite his red card at the weekend, while Nelson Semedo could come into the team to replace Sergi Roberto.

Inter may be without star striker Romelu Lukaku who has played very well so far, but Alexis Sánchez will return to Camp Nou one more time alongside Lautaro Martínez, a relatively short but incredibly dangerous strike partnership that will cause all sorts of problems for the Barça defense. Inter’s midfield has also been very strong, with Marcelo Brozovic and especially new signing Stefano Sensi dominating that area of the pitch in every game they’ve played together this season.

Summer signing Diego Godin could slot into defense alongside De Vrij and Skriniar, with Matias Vecino available should Conte want to go for a more defensive formation.

Valentino Lazaro could also come into the side for his pace, although Alexis Sanchez may be confined to the bench after his dismissal against Sampdoria.

Ernesto Valverde’s men will have to make the most of this fixture, considering that the venue is Camp Nou. The struggles on the road of his cavalry are well known these days, and teams nowadays are deliberately targeting this weakness.

But for sure the job would not be easy. Antonio Conte’s men have been the best in Italy so far this season. They have even overtaken the mighty Juventus in the points-table.

With the hosts facing a lot of injuries, it would surely be interesting to see how the fixture would turn out.

Head to head results:

The two sides have met eight times in UEFA competitions: Barca dominate with four wins to Inter's one, and three draws.

The two sides met in last season's group stages - Barca won 2-0 at Camp Nou and drew 1-1 in Milan.

Perhaps the sides' most famous clash came back in 2010, with Inter losing 1-0 in Barcelona but winning that Champions League semi-final 3-2 on aggregate.

Considering that Group F is unanimously tipped to be the toughest, each and every point matter to a whole degree.

The winner of this match will set themselves up for the final four matches of the group stage, while a draw doesn't do a whole lot for either in search of advancing to the last 16.

Possible starting lineups:

Barcelona XI (4-3-3):

Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Firpo; Busquets, De Jong, Arthur; Griezmann, Suarez, Perez

Inter Milan (3-5-2):

Handanovic; Godín, Skriniar, De Vrij; D’Ambrosio, Barella, Brozovic, Sensi, Asamoah; Lautaro, Alexis

source: SportMob