Inter Star Suspended for Both UCL Matches Against Liverpool

Inter will have to face Liverpool in the Round of 16 of Champions League without Nicolò Barella. The midfielder was handed a two-game ban following a red card in the Real Madrid clash. The Nerazzurri will not appeal against it, Sky Sport reports.

The midfielder was expelled for an excessive reaction after Eder Militao pushed him towards the sideline ads while chasing after a loose ball. The Italian international tried to land a punch to the legs of the opponent. UEFA deemed it an “assault” in their official release, triggering a longer disqualification. The two Barella-less legs against versus Liverpool will take place on February 16th and March 8th.

The 24-year-old has featured in all but two fixtures this season. He did not play against Spezia in early December for rest purposes and missed the Torino game a couple of weeks later due to yellow-card accumulation. Barella is in the midst of another career season. He has already tallied two goals on seven assists in 26 appearances. He is about to match his numbers from the entire previous campaign.

Arturo Vidal and Roberto Gagliardini will be the main candidates to replace Barella against Liverpool. Matias Vecino will be an option too, although he is generally below the teammates in the pecking order. He has six months left on his contract with the club, but he is likely to stay. He has rejected offers from Valencia, Sevilla, and Betis, Tuttomercatoweb reports. Instead, Stefano Sensi will join Sampdoria thanks to the recent addition of Felipe Caicedo.