Inter vs Barcelona Preview & Lineups – Champions League Round 3

The San Siro will play host to a seductive clash between Inter and Barcelona in Group C of the Champions League on Tuesday evening. The two sides have had some thrilling ties in Europe in recent history and will go head-to-head once more here in an important fixture that could swing qualification momentum. Below we preview Inter vs Barcelona, looking at their form, head-to-head, team news and potential lineups. 

Match Preview

League Form

Simone Inzaghi has not had the start he would have liked this season as Inter look to reclaim the Serie A title from rivals Milan. Milan have already got one over Inter this term, recording a 3-2 victory at the beginning of September. The Nerazzurri have also suffered defeats against Lazio, Udinese and most recently Roma and sit outside the top four.

Defensive issues have been a problem and Inter have conceded the most goals in the top half of Serie A, turning over 13 goals after just eight matches. They have now suffered back-to-back defeats in the league after they lost 2-1 at home to Jose Mourinho’s Roma on Saturday

Barcelona have made a strong start to their La Liga campaign this term and have dropped points in just one of their first seven games; their season opener against Rayo Vallecano that finished 0-0. Since then, Xavi’s side have conceded just one league goal, whilst scoring the most goals in the division with 19.

Robert Lewandowski has got off to a flying start and his impeccable goalscoring record has transferred over from Germany to Spain from the off. He will be the biggest threat for Inter, especially considering their leaky defense. The former Bayern Munich man scored the only goal in Barca’s 1-0 win over Mallorca on Saturday evening. 

Champions League Form

Three European giants were placed together in Group C this year, with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Inter going head-to-head. A difficult draw for Czech Republic side Viktoria Plzen who complete the group. Inter and Barca have started their Champions League campaigns in the same style, suffering losses against Bayern but picking up three points against Plzen. At this stage, it is important for both sides to find the victory and put themselves in a commanding position going into the second half of group stage fixtures. Lewandowski has continued in his rich Champions League goalscoring form this season too, scoring three goals in Barca’s 5-1 win against Plzen. 


Inter last secured victory against Barcelona back in 2010 under the guidance of Jose Mourinho. That happened to be the 3-1 victory in the Champions League semi-final first leg as the Nerazzurri went on to lift the trophy that season to complete a remarkable treble. Since then, Barcelona have defeated Inter in four out of the last five meetings; 2019 saw home and away group stage victories in the Champions League. Lionel Messi was of course still at the Nou Camp then but now Barca will look to the likes of Lewandowski and Ansu Fati as the new heroes. 

Team News

Marcelo Brozovic is the key man out for the Nerazzurri and he will be a huge miss for Inter ahead of the clash with Barcelona. The Croatian picked up a hamstring injury on international duty and the 29-year-old veteran may not return until after the World Cup has finished this winter. Brozovic has been a staple in Inter’s side for the best part of the last decade. 20-year-old Kristjan Asllani is set to feature in the midfield in his place.

Romelu Lukaku’s return to the San Siro has been met with injury plight, forcing the Belgian to feature in just three Serie A matches so far this term. He has also missed both of Inter’s Champions League fixtures so far and is not expected to return until later this month.

For now, Edin Dzeko is set to partner Lautaro Martinez up top but both forwards have been struggling for goals of late. Bosnian veteran Dzeko has scored just two goals in all competitions this season but he did score in Inter’s last Champions League match as they defeated Plzen 2-0. Martinez has scored three goals in Serie A but he is yet to find the back of the net in Europe. Joaquin Correa is another forward option for Inzaghi but he has been favoured off the bench of late.

Despite failing to feature in the league so far, Andre Onana has started both Champions League matches for Inter this season so the former Ajax man is in line to do so again here. Samir Handanovic has also received some criticism of late for his performances and the 38-year-old could be heading towards the end of his career at the elite level.

Ronald Araujo is out for the match and there are even fears he may miss the World Cup after suffering a thigh injury against Iran. He has undergone surgery to fix the issue but that could mean he misses the next two to three months.

Hector Bellerin has featured very little for Xavi’s side since joining from Arsenal on a free this summer but he is expected to be sidelined due to a calf injury, whilst defender Jules Kounde picked up an injury on international duty and is not expected to be available here. Injuries to the back line could see veteran Gerard Pique keep his place in the defense.

Dutch internationals Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong also suffered injuries over the international break and they are expected to be out for this one. The national team duty has caused plenty of issues for Barcelona.

Inter vs Barcelona Potential Lineups:

Inter (3-5-2): Andre Onana; Milan Skriniar, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Kristjan Asllani; Hakan Calhanoglu, Robin Gosens; Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko

Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Alejandro Bale; Andreas Christensen, Gerard Pique; Marcos Alonso; Franck Kessie, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati