Barcelona vs Inter Milan
Uefa Champions League 2018/19
Place: Camp Nou
Date: Wednesday, October 24.
Start time: 8pm
Barcelona must do without Lionel Messi as the Spanish champions host Inter Milan in the Champions League.
Barca talisman Messi fractured his right arm in the weekend’s 4-2 win over Sevilla – an injury which keeps him out of both Wednesday night clash against Inter and Sunday’s The Clasico with Real Madrid.
The good news for Barca fans is that Ernesto Valverde’s men are sitting pretty at the top of Group B on six points, and should be in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages as long as they avoid a home defeat to Inter.
Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring the first goal in the Champions League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on October 3, 2018.
Barca continued their simple 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven on matchday one with a 4-2 triumph at Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month.
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in the first of those victories and then pulled the strings throughout the Wembley stadium, while Barça kept their perfect start in Group B.
However, despite his main creative talent for the coming weeks, with a fractured arm that keeps Messi on the sidelines during a key game race at home and on the continent, the other names of Barça stars must now intensify.
The match of the League next weekend with Real Madrid can wait for now, as the Catalan giants are not yet all over Europe, knowing that the loss to Inter will give the Spurs and PSV, which will face the same night, a great opportunity to close the gap.
However, losing matches at home is not something that Barça tends to do in the Champions League, having won 27 games since the last time in a race that dates back to September 2013.
Barça have won all their home games in the group stage in the last five editions of the competition, in fact, while their defeat in the quarterfinals against Roma in April is their only defeat at home or out at 12 exits to euros.
The men of Ernesto Valverde were recently four games without winning in La Liga, however, they dropped points to Girona and Athletic Bilbao here, as well as Leganes and Valencia in their travels, so they do not lose hope in Inter.
Eric Dier and Radja Nainggolan in action during the Champions League game between Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur on September 18, 2018
Like the opponents on Wednesday night, Barça, Inter also began their European campaign in style thanks to victories against Tottenham and PSV in the last five weeks.
However, the Nerazzurri did not do things exactly the easiest way in either game, as they had to recover from a defeated goal against the Spurs and also against PSV in their most recent outing.
Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino were the heroes in the opening match, finding the net with quick fire goals in the last five minutes to get Inter started in a dream start, which they followed with a victory at the Philips Stadion.
The final goals seem to be something natural for Luciano Spalletti’s men, as they also found a way to win a massive 1-0 victory over AC Milan archrivals at San Siro on Sunday. Icardi returns to demonstrate the difference with his sixth. Goal in six games.
That victory leaves Inter six points adrift of champion Juventus, which is on track to achieve its eighth consecutive victory in the title, but the momentum is certainly on the side of Nerazzurri.
Television, online and live coverage.
The game will be televised live by BT Sport ESPN. BT Sport subscribers can broadcast the match online through the video player and BT Sport application.