Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Prediction: Inter Milan vs Barcelona

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Bet365

Knowing that a victory on Tuesday night will see them secure a spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, Inter Milan will welcome Barcelona to the San Siro in midweek.

Inter Milan

Starting with the hosts, while Inter Milan may have only been able to pick up a 0-0 stalemate against Roma at the San Siro over the weekend, the Italian giants have continued to shine since brining in former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Still holding a two-point buffer over Juventus at the top of the Serie A standings, I Nerazzurri are in the midst of a five-match unbeaten run across all formats, a run that also saw them land a 3-1 win away at Slavia Praha in their last European appearance. Also losing just a single matchup in Milan since the end of March, there is no doubt that Tuesday’s hosts will be looking for attacking talisman Lautaro Martinez to lead their charge in midweek. With the Argentina marksman already recording 16 goals for club and country since bursting onto the scene this season, the 22-year-old has also found the net in each of his Champions League appearances this year.

Team News

Inter Milan will still be unable to call upon Manchester United loanee Alexis Sanchez who remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Tuesday’s hosts are hoping that Antonio Candreva will overcome a back problem to feature at the San Siro.

Barcelona

As for the visitors, while Barcelona may have struggled with their consistency earlier in the season, the Spanish giants are arguably enjoying their brightest run so far. Putting in another free-scoring display to put five past Mallorca over the weekend, the former European champions find themselves in the midst of a six-match winning run and have already secured their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League. Unsurprisingly, one man to keep an eye out for on Tuesday night will be newly crowned Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi. Bagging yet another match ball over the weekend, the attacking icon has recorded hat-tricks in two of his last five contests and also scored 14 goals in his last 11 matches across all competitions. Despite continuing to shine in the final third, Barca have continued to show some issues at the back. Ernesto Valverde’s men have recorded three clean sheets in their last 11 outings.

Team News

Ousmane Dembele, Jordi Alba and Nelson Semedo remain on the sidelines, while Arthur and Ansu Fati are huge doubts with the pair missing out against Mallorca.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides met at the Nou Camp back in October, Barcelona came from behind to pick up a 2-1 win.
  • Lionel Messi has 14 goals in his last 11 matches across all competitions.
  • Inter Milan are unbeaten in their last five matches, winning four of those fixtures.
  • Striker Lautaro Martinez has 16 goals for club and country this season and has found the net in each of his Champions League matches this season.
  • Barcelona have recorded three clean sheets in their last 11 matchups.

Conclusion

On paper, this has all the makings of a matchup that should produce plenty of chances at both ends of the pitch. With both Inter Milan and Barcelona holding two attacking talismans enjoying a pair of purple patches, we’re backing another night of drama at the San Siro in midweek. With both teams finding the net in Barca’s 2-1 win back in October, we’re backing both teams to find the net in Milan on Tuesday night.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/6

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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