CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Inter Milan vs Barcelona: Preview, team news, predicted XIs

All the latest news as Inter Milan host Barcelona at the San Siro in matchday 6 of Champions League Group F.

Inter Milan vs Barcelona: Preview, team news, predicted XIs
MIGUEL MEDINA AFP

Barcelona travel to face Inter Milan at the San Siro in what is an inconsequential game for the visitors.

Unbeaten in Group F, Barcelona have already secured the top spot, allowing coach Ernesto Valverde the luxury of leaving stalwarts Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto at home. With nothing to play for, Valverde could hand starts to a number of youngsters, including Ansu Fati, Carles Perez, Jean-Clair Todibo, and Moussa Wagué, who have all made the trip.

Inter, meanwhile, will be happy to face a weakened Barcelona side, considering they are going down to the wire with Borussia Dortmund for the second qualifying spot. Coach Antonio Conte is set to name a full strength squad with Inter looking to secure all three points, knowing that Dortmund, level on seven points but with a weaker goal difference, will be tipped to see off Slavia Prague at home.

Having beaten Inter 2-1 in the last fixture at Camp Nou, Barcelona have only lost once against the Serie A side in their previous 10 meetings – a 3-1 defeat at San Siro in 2010. Four of the previous six games at the San Siro have ended in draws, with the remaining two games ending in a win for each side.

Barcelona's Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde (C) and players attend a training session at the Joan Gamper Sports City training facilities in Sant Joan Despi on December 9, 2019 ahead of their Champions League group F football match against Inter Milan.

Inter Milan predicted XI vs Barcelona

Starting XI: Handanovic, Skriniar, De Vrij, Godín, Vecino, Valero, D’Ambrosio, Brozovic, Candreva, Lautaro, Lukaku

Subs: Padelli, Biraghi, Bastoni, Asamoah, Lazaro, Politano, Esposito

Barcelona predicted XI vs Inter Milan

Starting XI: Ter Stegen, Wagué, Todibo, Umtiti, Júnior, Vidal, De Jo ng, Aleñá, Perez, Griezmann, Ansu Fati

Subs: Neto, Lenglet, Araujo, Morer, Busquets, Rakitic, Suaréz, Riqui Puig

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde.

Inter Milan vs Barcelona: Injuries and suspensions

Alexis Sanchez, Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella, Roberto Gagliardini are all missing through injury for the hosts. Barcelona, meanwhile, are without Ousmane Dembélé. Nélson Semedo, Jordi Alba and Arthur Melo.

Neither side have any suspended players for the game, although Inter’s Antonio Candreva, Nicolo Barella and Lautaro Martinez are all one booking away from a one-match ban. For Barcelona, Sergio Busquets will miss their first knockout game if he is booked which is why he will likely stay on the bench for this game.

Inter Milan vs Barcelona: what the managers said

Antonio Conte (Inter Milan): “We are talking about Barcelona, one of the best teams in the world. There are three or four clubs that start to win all competitions and one of them is Barça. That means you have 22 top-level players. They come here without pressure to play here. That can be positive … The only thing I've told my players is that we can't leave anything on the field. That is the objective.”

Ernesto Valverde (Barcelona): “Messi has been given a rest and nothing else. We have come from important games, we have important games coming up and I have decided that to leave some players at home. Last year we played a great game here, without Messi, by the way.”