In a very tough Champions League group, Barcelona have already sealed top spot with a game to spare. Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund, however, need to get a result to guarantee their spot in the next stage of the competition. For Inter Milan, it’s all in their hands. Win and they guarantee qualification, irrespective of what happens in the Dortmund vs Slavia Prague match. Should they lose, then what happens in Dortmund could have a bearing on their knock out stage chances.
The match between Inter vs. Barca will take place at the historical San Siro stadium on the 10th of December.
Inter come into this match knowing it’s either win or bust, considering Dortmund play the bottom-placed club in Group F. In the reverse fixture, Inter Milan scored first and held their own at the Nou Camp, but were undone by Luis Suarez’s double – the last courtesy of a Lionel Messi assist.
The Nerazzurri come into this match topping the Serie A table after their rejuvenation, courtesy of Antonio Conte. The team would be looking to wreak havoc on the opposition’s defence with the in-form strike partnership of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. And we all know how Barca’s defence can crumble under pressure; case in point – the second leg of the Champions League Semi-Finals at Anfield.
In the nine previous meetings between the two clubs, Inter have only won once during their Champions League triumph under Jose Mourinho. They lost five of the remaining eight matches and drew three. The last meeting between the two clubs was a 1-1 draw during the 2018-2019 campaign at San Siro.
If we just typed the name “Lionel Messi” and left it at that, everyone would understand. The mercurial number 10 for Barcelona has the ability to make all the difference. and would cause any defence trouble, but he doesnt play. Being a dead-rubber for Barcelona, it’s unclear how they’ll be set up and how they’ll approach the game.
Ernesto Valverde’s side are currently on a run of six consecutive wins, with a 5-2 drubbing of Mallorca at home on the last of the six wins. In that match, Messi scored a hat-trick. Many people thought Barca were going to win the Champions League last season, before they were stunned by Liverpool. This season’s competition also seems like an open one.
Barca do not exactly have a sterling record against Italian opposition away from home. In 24 matches, they’ve only won six, drawn eleven and lost seven. Added to the fact that the team has already sealed top spot, is an incoming El Clasico at home to Real Madrid on December 18, which might force Valverde into some form of rotation.
Looking at the stakes, Inter would and should be fielding their strongest side. It’s hard to try and decipher the team Barca would put out, but it’s certain they would want to keep up their winning momentum just before the El Clasico – fingers crossed.
Despite securing top spots in the group, Barcelona would like to increase their winning run, which currently stands at six; and with Messi being fit and more likely to play, the game can be turned on its head at any moment with his superior individual skills. Statistics point to a Barca win or at the very least a draw. In terms of goals, 60% of Inter’s last five home games have resulted in over 2.5 goals, while 60% of Barca’s last five away matches have resulted in the same. This also points to a likely over 2.5 goals; plus the fact that Inter need to go for it, means they’ll definitely be leaving space behind for Barca to take advantage of. You can read more betting tips on the match here.
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