With a strong tie on the horizon ahead for Barcelona against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League, the Catalan giant’s chances of missing out on Europe’s biggest competition for a second consecutive time are becoming increasingly real.
Should Barcelona fail to win against Inter Milan in the reverse fixture at Camp Nou, they will be in a very difficult situation, going down the Europa League once again. History will be made if such happen as, since the 1970s, Barcelona has never featured in the second tier of Europe in successive seasons.
So what can Barcelona, whose esports bets are deemed favorites expect from the Italian giants in match-week four of the UEFA Champions League? Let’s take a look as we write further;
Inter Milan comes in with a strong and deep block
Heading into this match, it won’t come as a surprise if we see Inter Milan field a backline of three-at-the-back with Alessandro Bastoni, Stefan de Vrij, and Milan Skriniar, with Federico Dimarco, and Matteo Darmian starting for the team as wingbacks, but all these are just for line-up information because it will end up to form a five-man backline.
Similar to their last meeting at the San Siro, the Nerazzurri will try to hold their ground in defense very tight to mark Robert Lewandowski out of the game. If they can minimize his ability to make runs in behind by holding play up, then they can create space on the wings for counter-attacks.
A packed midfield
Neutralizing all threats from Barcelona’s attack is vital for Inter Milan if they’re to win this match, and in the middle of the park, we’re either going to see Lautaro Martinez or Edin Dzeko to effectively create a 5-4-1 lineup.
This will allow them to cut off passing lanes and crowd out the Catalans after already jamming up the final third with their deep block, and prevent them from creating numerical superiorities. Nico Barella’s energy and creativity can help evade the press if Barcelona loses the ball and launch a swift counter-attack with the wingbacks pushing up quickly in support.
Major threat on the break
Much like the reverse fixture, Inter will likely have the ball far less than Barcelona, but as soon as they regain possession, they will drive into the space to catch their opponents off guard.
With their two strikers Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko both capable of playing off each other, and the former particularly adept at making runs in behind to draw defenders towards him, it opens up space around the penalty area.
And when that happens, someone like Hakan Calhanoglu always poses a threat even if Barcelona gets the bodies back. The Turkish midfielder is a major threat while shooting from distance, with incredible accuracy and technique.
Aside from his superb goal, he stung the gloves of Marc Andre ter Stegen from even farther out very early in the game. It will be essential for Barcelona to not allow him any time to shoot.