Barcelona vs Inter Champions League Predictions

Sam Watt
By: Sam Watt
Champions League Barcelona vs Inter
Barcelona vs Inter Champions League

The match is over.
Score: 2-1.

Ernesto Valverde’s unconvincing Barcelona host Antonio Conte’s ambitious Inter in a true heavyweight Champions League clash.

Predictions

It’s been an up-and-down start to the season for Barca, with mixed results domestically – putting five past Valencia, then losing to Granada. Valverde’s side seem to be at a crossroads, in need of new ideas but unable to settle on one that works.

Barca began their Champions League campaign at Borussia Dortmund, drawing 0-0 in Germany. They had Marc-Andre TerStegen to thank for preserving the clean sheet as the goalkeeper saved a Marco Reus penalty and made a number of other saves too, while Dortmund also hit the bar late on.

The Catalans are at least buoyed by the return from injury of Lionel Messi and the Argentine is of course a difference maker. But how much longer can they rely on Messi to deliver a piece of magic?

Inter, meanwhile, drew 1-1 at home to Slavia Prague in their Champions League opener, a result that has to go down as disappointing for the Nerazzurri. That they needed a last minute NicoloBarella goal to even take a point should be a stark warning to Conte – that for all the strength in depth assembled by Inter over the summer, they can’t take any opponent lightly.

Domestically Inter have been solid in the early weeks of the Serie A season. They were tabbed as the team most likely to challenge Juventus’ supremacy and so it has proven thus far. But going to the Nou Camp will be another test of Inter’s strength all together, and a positive result here would show how far they have come.

It’s hard to back against any team containing Messi, though. He’ll always be capable of producing a goal from nowhere, and that should give Barca the edge in a 2-1 win.

Betting Tips

Barca conceded twice against Real Betis, Osasuna, Valencia and Granada in the opening weeks of the season, suggesting that Valverde’s defence is far from sound. Inter, with RomeluLukaku leading the line, will fancy their chances of scoring, and the top betting sites expect goals too. 888Sport price Barca to win and both teams to score at 7/4.

Goals have been common in Barca’s games so far this season. Inter too have seen goalmouth action aplenty, and Conte’s side is still adapting to his preferred 3-4-3 formation – indeed, Lazio had plenty of chances to score in their 1-0 defeat to Inter in midweek. That means Barca can win and score at least twice doing so, with Inter expected to net as well. 10Bet have the Barca win and over 2.5 goals in the game at 11/10.

Statistics

Head to Head

Arguably the most famous meeting between Barca and Inter occurred in 2010, when Barca won 1-0 on the night but couldn’t overturn the 3-1 defeat they suffered in Milan in the first leg.

Jose Mourinho was in charge of Inter then and his 10-men – Thiago Motta was sent off in the first half – produced a defensive masterclass to preserve their two-goal cushion. Inter would go on to win the Champions League that year as part of a treble of trophies.

The teams last met in 2018, in the group stage. Barca won 2-0 at home through Rafinha and Jordi Alba, while the score was 1-1 in Milan when Mauro Icardi cancelled out Malcolm’s opener.

Stats

  • Messi has played against Inter three times – and not scored.
  • Inter haven’t scored in four Champions League matches at the Nou Camp.
  • The last time Barca played Italian opposition was Roma in the 2017-18 competition. They won 4-1 at the Nou Camp but lost 3-0 in Rome to bow out on away goals.
  • Alexis Sanchez will be involved for Inter having played for Barca between 2011 and 2014. He scored 47 goals in 141 appearances for La Blaugrana.
Sam Watt
By: Sam Watt

Football manager is my life, but have taken up writing to help put all that knowledge playing the game to good use. Follow me for all things European football and gain unexpected knowledge about players and teams you didn't know before. When not playing football manager, I take a break to play with my Sunday League team.

All Predictions by Sam Watt

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