With the first El Clasico of the season just a week away, Ernesto Valverde has chosen to rest his important players. Inter, on the other hand, have their work cut out for them, and need a win to qualify.
Borrusia Dortmund face last placed Slavia Prague at home and need three more goals than Inter to qualify, so Antonio Conte’s team will not taking this one for granted and will play as hard as they can to get a good win and finish second.
Here are three things to look forward to as Inter Milan host Barcelona at the San Siro in the Champions League.
3. Key Players Missing for Inter
Antonio Conte could be without as many as six first-team players, with the wing-back slots posing some concern. Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Gagliardini, Stefano Sensi, and Nicolo Barella have already been sidelined due to their injuries.
Antonio Candreva (back) and Kwadwo Asamoah (knee) are major doubts too, and Conte will has a mammoth task ahead of him when picking his wing-backs. Valentino Lazaro and Danilo D’Ambrosio are likely to get the nod, while Inter Milan captain Samir Handanovic will be their stronghold between the sticks.
2. Will Messi-less Barca Get the Job Done?
There's no pressure on Barcelona as they head into the game, and while Ernesto Valverde's men haven't had the most perfect of starts to their Champions League campaign, they've now racked up three wins and two draws from five matches has brought them 11 points, leaving them four clear of second-placed Inter as things stand.
The Barca boss stressed they won't miss Messi as they have "11 other players who can play", and he makes a fair point. Valverde has also decided to rest Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto ahead of next week's El Clasico with Real Madrid.
Antoine Griezmann ought to lead the line against Inter, with Luis Suarez being given a breather, only to be used as a backup option, if required.
1. Inter Need to Win to Qualify
Conte's side have beaten Dortmund at home and Slavia Prague away in this season's group stage, but they suffered a 2-1 loss away to Barca at the start of October and also lost 3-2 away to Dortmund last month. They go into this match, level on points with Dortmund, with only a +2 goal difference as their edge.
The Milan outfit could not overcome Roma on Friday night as they were held to a goalless draw, but a brilliant start to their 2019-20 Serie A campaign has left them top of the table, two points clear of the defending champions Juventus.
A point could be enough to book their spot in the next round but with Dortmund expected to triumph on home soil in the other match, Inter might just have to beat Barca to make the round of 16.
3 things to look forward to as Inter Milan host Barcelona at the San Siro in the Champions League