Inter Milan and Barcelona will battle for three points this Tuesday in the third round of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage.
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) (Milan)
Inter Milan have lost four of their last six games in all competitions (W2).
They have lost their last three home games against Spanish clubs.
The hosts’ Edin Džeko has scored in his last three matches against Barcelona, each time as his team’s first scorer.
Barcelona have lost five of their last nine UCL group games (W3, D1).
The visitors have lost three of their last four away UCL games (W1).
But they have won four of their five away games this season (L1), keeping three clean sheets and scoring 3+ goals on three occasions.
Head to head
Barcelona have an impressive record against Inter, having won eight out of the 14 matches played between the two teams, as opposed to Inter Milan’s two victories.
Latest performances in all competitions
Inter Milan: L-L-W-W-L
Inter Milan have not had the best start to the season and have endured a particularly poor run of form in recent games, losing three out of their last five games in all competitions, including a 1-2 loss to AS Roma last weekend.
Simone Inzaghi has failed to find the consistency that set the Nerazzurri apart in their title-winning season under Antonio Conte.
Their mixed results has seen them drop to ninth in the Serie A table and third in Group C of the UEFA Champions League after losing one and winning one so far in the UEFA competition, the latter being a 0-2 win over Viktoria Plzen in their last Champions League action before the International break.
Inter Milan face a fierce battle for the top spot in Group C dubbed the Group of death, with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich sitting above the Italians–the latter based on goal difference.
Having dropped points already against Bayern Munich in round one, Inter Milan can ill afford another slip-up, and the game against Xavi’s men presents them with a chance to go above the Blaugrana with a win.
In five meetings with Barcelona, Inter Milan have only been able to come away with one draw, with the rest ending in defeats to the Spanish giants, and with their recent woes, Simone Inzaghi’s side will come into this game low on morale.
But the Italian coach will have to find a way to motivate his players and look for a way to exploit the Spanish side who have had two of their first-choice centre-backs ruled out due to injury since the international break.
Possible Inter Milan starting line-up
Samir Handanovic; Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Matteo Darmian; Edin Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez.
Injured: Romelu Lukaku, Hakan Calhanoglu, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Cordaz
Barcelona put their injury crisis aside to grind out a 0-1 win over Real Mallorca last weekend, with yet another Robert Lewandowski goal enough to see the Catalans take the top spot in the La Liga standings with Real Madrid falling to a draw against Osasuna.
The Polish striker has hit the ground running since joining the Blaugrana, and his goal against Mallorca was his ninth in the Spanish topflight and 12th in all competitions. He will be expected to lead the lines once more when Xavi’s men travel to Milan.
The Spanish coach gave much-needed rest to the likes of Pedri and Raphinha who both came on later in the game in a bid to keep them fresh amid the injury crisis that has hit the club after the International break with the likes of Depay, Kounde, Araujo and De Jong missing the trip to Italy due to injuries.
Just like their host, Barcelona find themselves three points behind the Group C leaders Bayern Munich after losing to the Bavarians in round two. But with Simone Inzaghi’s side struggling in recent times, Xavi Hernandez will fancy the chances of his side securing all three points against the Italians, especially with serial goal scorer Robert Lewandowski firing on all cylinders.
Possible Barcelona starting line-up
Marc Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Andreas Chritensen, Eric Garcia, Alex Balde; Franck Kessie, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele.
Injured: Hector Bellerin, Ronald Araujo, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, Jules Kounde
Inter Milan 1-3 Barcelona