Barcelona VS Inter will be the Champions League match day 2 fixture. This will be the second time the two teams have met each other in just as many years. Last year Inter came away with only 1 point from their two fixtures, ultimately bowing out of the group stage.
Since the last time they met, both teams have changed dramatically with both management and players. Considered a European powerhouse, Barcelona have been struggling throughout the domestic season. Whereas Inter on the other hand have had the perfect start, by winning 6 out of 6 fixtures. With the most recent coming the in the form of a 3-1 win over Sampdoria.
Barcelona have struggled throughout the commencement of their domestic campaign. Currently sitting in fourth place, Barcelona have come away with 4 wins from their 7 matches. This may not sound like a ‘struggle’, but their dropped points have come against opposition which would not normally cause any issue to them.
In their first Champions League fixture against German club Borussia Dortmund, some would say that Barcelona were fortunate. The result ended in a 0-0 draw, with Dortmund missing a crucial penalty and dominating the field.
Barcelona will be waiting until the final hour to announce their squad, pending a decision on the fitness of Messi. The Barcelona marksman has been struggling to overcome a groin injury and will be fighting the clock. Although Messi is one person, he is pivotal in the performance of Barcelona, providing leadership, guidance and stability. Without him in the starting line-up the records say that Barcelona do struggle to close out fixtures without him.
Inter have had a stellar commencement to the season, starting with 6 wins from 6 starts in the Serie A. Domestically Inter have commenced a perfect start, and although manager Antonio Conte has his reservations, they have still obtained 18 out of 18 points. But what can Inter do to improve on their performances from last season’s Champions League.
Inter’s extremely active preseason has bolstered their squad to unseen heights since 2010. But off-season purchases and management changes are not the only thing that has improved Inter this season. Their one team mentality and the unification of the team has shown dramatically on and off the pitch.
Last season Inter was limited to a restricted squad due to financial fair play, limiting their squad depth. This season they are spoilt for choice in all positions within the park ranging from defence to upfront. Unlike last season Inter are heading into this fixture with 1 point, coming from a draw in their last fixture.
Prediction: Barcelona VS Inter
Barcelona are always tough opposition no matter when or what competition that they are faced in. On top of that, they will be hosting Inter in their first fixture together. Travelling to the Spanish giants is intimidating and it acts like a 12th man. But will home field advantage be enough with the likely exclusion of Lionel Messi their superstar front man?
Inter are coming into the fixture with a fantastic string of wins, remaining undefeated for the entire Serie A season so far. Their squad depth has proven to be minimizing the strain on the rest of the team. What may be playing on the minds of the players is the upcoming Serie A fixture against current Champions, and 2nd placed Juventus. They will not what to hamper their chances at extending the lead, as well as moving to the next round of the Champions League.
Score prediction: Barcelona 1 – Inter 1
Inter Vs Barcelona Preview Video