Barcelona faces the proximity of getting eliminated from the Champions League if they don’t derive a positive result against Inter in the reverse fixture at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Xavi’s men lost 1-0 in the other game at San Siro with Hakan Calhanoglu scoring the only goal of the game. Both sides are coming into this fixture after winning their respective league games at the weekend.
BAR vs INT Match Details
Date: Wednesday, 12 October 2022 / Thursday, 13 October 2022
Time: 21:00 (CET) / 00:30 (IST)
Venue: Spotify Camp Nou, Barcelona
BAR vs INT Match Preview
The superstar signings in the summer despite the club facing a financial crisis were done in the promise of bringing FC Barcelona back to the summit of Spanish football and also in Europe. So far, the team has gained top marks in La Liga going toe-to-toe with arch-rivals Real Madrid again after a long time for the title. However, the Blaugrana have failed to translate the rich form into continental level facing the prospect of missing out on the knockout stages in the Champions League for consecutive seasons. Last time, the squad didn’t boast the likes of Robert Lewandowski or other star-spangled names so any downfall in this competition this term will hurt more badly. Paired in a tough group with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, Serie A heavyweights Inter and Czech league champions Victoria Plzen Barcelona found it ideal to test their mantle. Sweeping aside Plzen 5-1 in the first game the Catalan outfit hit the reality of their situation losing 2-0 to Bayern Munich and then somewhat surprising 1-0 defeat to Inter, who struggled for form lately, at San Siro last week. Xavi’s men failed to breach the defensively stringent home side with the free-flowing combination in the attack not in the sight of the team. Barcelona felt they were hard done by some controversial referring decision for Pedri’s equaliser that got chalked off by VAR due to a handball by Ansu Fati which was actually touched onto him by opposition goalkeeper Andre Onana. Several penalty appeals were also refuted as the visitors lift the field frustrated for the second group stage game running. The back-to-back defeats have put them in the Europa League place with only three points registered from three games trailing Inter by three and leaders Bayern by six. The Italian side are visitors this time as Barcelona return to Camp Nou in the Champions League after two distasteful away trips seeking revenge against them with the crowd at their back. Xavi said his player has to treat the game as a final in order to continue their quest in the competition before they play another crucial game in the first El Classico of the season this weekend.
Simeone Inzaghi’s Inter entered the clash with Barcelona in the Champions League last week on the back of successive losses to Udinese and Roma in Serie A and only two wins from seven games. Yet, a properly planned evening earned them a vital win to be back in contention for the Round of 16 qualifications. Inter started their business in the group stages of the Champions League with a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich even though they created some good chances to secure a draw from the game. A 2-0 victory at Plzen followed leaving them to do the hard task to secure all three points against Barcelona in the third group stage game which they did. Their Turkish playmaker played one of his best games in Inter shirt scoring the decider at the stroke of half-time to uplift the atmosphere in San Siro and ultimately saving Simeone Inzaghi’s job as it feels. The Nerazzurri carried the momentum to win 2-1 against Sassuolo in Serie A at the weekend to prepare themselves for the reverse fixture against the Catalan giants in a venue where they have lost in each of the five trips, losing more than anyone else in the competition. Inzaghi knows it is a far challenging match to face Barcelona away with the home side not losing a game since May at Camp Nou and has suffered only one defeat in 17 previous meetings hosted against an Italian team. Inter have also not won against a Spanish opposition away from home in the competition since 2004. That added with the excellent record Xavi’s men carry at home, Nerazzurri’s task should be to keep the same discipline demonstrated a week ago and nick a goal to silence the crowd with some important defenders missing for the hosts. The pair of Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez will be handy on the break to extend Inter’s winning run compounding more misery on Barcelona who has lost three of the last six home games in the Champions League, all under previous boss Ronald Koeman. That being said, Inter lost the previous meeting here 2-1 in the 2019/20 season.
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BAR vs INT Team News
Xavi said Jules Kounde is edging a return from his hamstring injury he sustained during his international duties with France but this fixture comes too soon for him to get involved. The manager is hopeful Kounde will be available for the El Classico against Real Madrid at the weekend. Also struggling with a hamstring problem, Memphis Depay is still weeks away to recover with the same faith lying for Hector Bellerin and Andreas Christensen. Ronald Araujo has been ruled out earlier till the next month which means Barcelona have to go for the pairing of Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique as the center-back partnership for this one. Midfielder Frenkie de Jong could get his name in the starting team list following his return from injury.
Inter will still be without Marcelo Brozovic in midfield keeping Hakan Calhanoglu in the deep-lying role which he has performed admirably so far. Forward Joaquin Correa is ruled out till November through a knee injury with the third-choice keeper Alex Cordaz unavailable with a ligament injury. Simeone Inzaghi is unlikely to make changes to the winning side last week other than Denzel Dumfries who can provide an option on the right for attack should the manager wishes for ahead of the more defensive-minded Mateo Darmian.
BAR vs INT Predicted Lineups
BAR: Ter Stegen; Sergio Roberto, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Marcos Alonso; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha
INT: Andre Onana; Milan Skriniar, De Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Laurtaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko
BAR vs INT Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Onana (6.5)
DEF: S Roberto (7.5), Skriniar (8), Bastoni (7.5), Dimarco (8.5)
MID: Dumfries (8), F De Jong (8.5), Pedri (7), Calhanoglu (9)
FW: L Martinez (9), Lewandowski (9)
Captain: Robert Lewandowski
Vice-captain: Lautaro Martinez