On the heels of yet another loss this season, Inter head into a huge match against Barcelona with the small positive of an improved performance in the loss to AS Roma on Saturday. Nevertheless, it will take a much better performance for Inter to get a result against an improved Barca side.
As is apparent to everyone reading this, Inter have not been very impressive in the Champions League or Serie A this season. In all competitions, they have lost five of their first ten matches so far. The latest being a 2-1 loss to Roma, in which the Nerazzurri fumbled yet another early lead. However, their last match in the Champions League was a victory over Viktoria Plzen.
Inter will be without a number of key players. Marcelo Brozovic, Romelu Lukaku, and Lautaro Martinez are all dealing with injuries that could not be happening at a worse time for this team.
After an abysmal season by their standards in 2021-22, Barcelona have recovered well so far. They sit atop the La Liga table alongside Real Madrid and sit second in Champions League Group C on goal difference. Despite a loss to Bayern Munich in the last Champions League round, they are still second favorites to qualify from the group.
Inter will face legendary striker Robert Lewandowski for the first time. While he has not been as prolific in the Champions League as in La Liga, he will undoubtedly be the focus of the Inter defense in this match.
2-1 (A) - 2/10/2019
1-2 (H) - 10/12/2019
Predicted Starting XIs
INTER (3-5-2): Onana; Skriniar, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Asllani, Calhanoglu, Gosens; Correa, Dzeko.
BARCELONA (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Christensen, Alonso; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Torres.
Prediction: Inter 1-1 Barcelona
If Inter do not get the win in this one, their Champions League hopes are virtually over. The second half of the group stage will consist of trips to Barcelona and Munich, two matches Inter will be unfavored in. Without all three points here, it is hard to see where Inter can get a leg up on Barcelona. However, injuries make the task much taller than it already is. I hope I’m wrong, though.