Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Prediction: Barcelona vs Inter Milan

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 10/3

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to replicate their eye-catching start to the new Serie A campaign, Inter Milan will make the trip to the Nou Camp on Wednesday night.

Barcelona

Starting with the hosts, while they might still be looking to find a similar level that helped them romp towards the La Liga title last season, Barcelona appear to be finding their feet. Winning just two of their opening five domestic contests and dropping points against the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, and Granada, the European giants have now secured back-to-back victories. However, after amazingly failing to find the net out in Germany a fortnight ago and opening their Champions League campaign with a 0-0 stalemate against Borussia Dortmund, there is no doubt that Head Coach Ernesto Valverde will be glad to make a return to home soil in midweek. Winning each of their opening three La Liga matches at the Nou Camp and bagging 12 goals, they also hold a stellar European record in Catalonia. Barcelona have won 10 of their last 11 Champions League matches in front of their own supporters and have not tasted European defeat at the Nou Camp since May 2013.

Team News

Messi’s adductor problem will be a big blow for Barcelona as he is so important to the way they play and because it further limits Valverde’s options.

Inter Milan

As for the visitors, putting in yet another dominant display and putting three past Sampdoria on the road over the weekend, Inter Milan have embarked on a stellar start to the new Serie A campaign. Really starting to shine since bringing in former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte over the summer, the Italian heavyweights currently hold a two-point buffer over Juventus at the top of the table. Despite opening their Champions League campaign with a shock 1-1 draw against Slavia Praha a fortnight ago, they are enjoying a three-match winning run, a run that also saw them pick up a 2-0 victory over Milan rivals AC. Now the only side in Serie A to boast a 100% start to the new campaign, one man to watch at the Nou Camp on Wednesday will be former Manchester United striker, Romelu Lukaku. Since making the move from Old Trafford, the Belgian international has already recorded three strikes.

Team News

Summer signing Diego Godin could slot into defence alongside De Vrij and Skriniar, with Matias Vecino available should Conte want to go for a more defensive formation.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last time the two sides met they played out a 1-1 draw.
  • Barcelona have not lost a Champions League match at the Nou Camp since May 2013.
  • Romelu Lukaku has bagged three goals since moving from Manchester United.
  • Inter Milan are the only side in Serie A to hold a 100% start to the season.
  • Five of the previous six matches between the two sides has produced under 2.5 goals.

Conclusion

Although Barcelona might hold a stellar European record at the Nou Camp, they will be without Lionel Messi and Wednesday could prove to be an extremely tough test. With Inter Milan enjoying quite the resurge and the only side to boast a 100% start to the new Serie A campaign, Antonio Conte’s men find the confidence in their camp at a high. With the two sides playing out a 1-1 draw the last time they met, we’re backing a similar outcome in midweek.

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 10/3

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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