Inter face a difficult job on Tuesday as they lock horns with Barcelona in their third group stage fixture of the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 season.
In a group that consists of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter, and Viktoria Plzeň, chances of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the competition were already low. However, as Inter struggle to cope with the status of title challengers in Serie A this season, taking anything positive out of Tuesday’s fixture now appears to be a formidable task.
Over the last six games in all competitions, Inter have lost four, putting Simone Inzaghi’s managerial job at risk. Xavi, on the other hand, is endeavouring to get Barça back to the glory days despite stumbling upon numerous hurdles here and there.
Results in the last five matches in all competitions
André Onana should retain his place in the team for the Champions League game against Barcelona. Among the absentees, there are Marcelo Brozović and Romelu Lukaku. Other than these two, everyone seems fit. As the reports in Italy suggest, Stefan de Vrij should get the nod over Francesco Acerbi.
The visitors have multiple injuries issues, with players such as Ronald Araújo, Jules Koundé, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, and Héctor Bellerín ruled out of Barça’s visit to Milan. Xavi is reportedly considering putting Sergi Roberto and Marcos Alonso on the flanks against the Nerazzurri.
Inter (3-5-2): Onana; De Vrij, Skriniar, Bastoni; Darmian, Mkhitaryan, Calhanoglu, Barella, Dimarco; Correa, Lautaro.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Garcia, Christensen, Marcos Alonso; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Dembelé.
Inter would have to gain some favour from the lady luck if they were to salvage something positive against Barcelona. The club management is reportedly observing every move made by Inzaghi. A win on Tuesday evening could be significant in the context of his future at the Milanese club.
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder