Barcelona vs Inter: Messi returns to the lineup

first_imgBarcelona will host Inter at Camp Nou in the second Champions League Group F game on Wednesday, with both sides eager to secure their first win in the competition.The Liga champions were held to a 0-0 stalemate at Borussia Dortmund while Inter settled for a 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague.The Champions League game comes at a crucial time for Ernesto Valverde amid Barcelona’s tough start to the domestic season, sitting in fourth place in La Liga, two points adrift of leaders Real Madrid. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Inter, though, have maintained a perfect start to their Serie A campaign under Antonio Conte, winning six out of six matches. Game Barcelona vs Inter Date Wednesday, October 2 Time 8pm BST / 3pm ET Stream (US) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream TNT USA / UniMas fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the UK, the match will be shown on BT Sport ESPN and can be streamed via BT Sport Live. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport ESPN BT Sport Live Squads & Team News Position Barcelona squad Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Neto Defenders Pique, Lenglet, Semedo, Wague, Firpo, Todibo Midfielders Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur, Roberto, De Jong, Vidal, Alena, Dembele Forwards Griezmann, Perez, Messi, Suarez Both Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele returned to training with the squad on Tuesday, and Messi has returned to the lineup with Dembele on the bench. Ansu Fati, Junior Firpo, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba will miss the match against the Italian side.Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Roberto; Busquets, De Jong, Arthur; Griezmann, Suarez, Messi Position Inter squad Goalkeepers Handanovic, Padelli Defenders Godin, De Vrij, Ranocchia, Asamoah, Dimarco, D’Ambrosio, Biraghi, Skriniar, Bastoni Midfielders Gagliardini, Vecino, Sensi, Lazaro, Valero, Barella, Brozovic, Candreva Forwards Sanchez, Martinez, Politano, Esposito Conte confirmed that Romelu Lukaku will not play a part in the game due to an ongoing muscle injury and did not travel with the team to Spain.Alexis Sanchez gets the nod to lead the line in Lukaku’s absence, after he scored against Sampdoria in Serie A. He was sent off in the game, but his suspension will not affect his European participation.Inter starting XI: Handanovic; De Vrij, Godin, Skriniar; Candreva, Barella, Brozovic, Sensi, Asamoah; Martinez, SanchezBetting & Match Odds Barcelona are priced to win at  3/10 bet365. A draw is available at 16/5 while an Inter victory is priced at  9/2.Click here to see all of bet365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview Group F is regarded as this year’s UCL Group of Death, with Barcelona, Inter, Slavia Prague and Borussia Dortmund all providing fierce competition.With all four teams sitting on one point each, Group F is still wide open and everything will be left to play for when Barcelona and Inter meet. Both will be eager to register a win as whoever claims victory will top the group for the time being, and though Conte’s side have impressed domestically, taking points off of Barcelona at Camp Nou will prove to be an exceedingly difficult task.Barcelona have won 29 of their last 32 home UCL games, and you would have to go back to May 2013 for their last defeat at Camp Nou.As is the case in European football, however – and especially the Champions League – surprises are always in store.Valverde still remains under great pressure in his managerial post, despite Barcelona claiming victory in their last two matches. They are already playing catch-up in La Liga after seven games, trailing behind rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Antonio Conte, InterA win over Inter and a draw between Dortmund and Slavia Prague in the other Group F game would send the Catalans to the top of their group.The Spanish side, however, will potentially have to deal with the absences of Messi and Dembele, while Antoine Griezmann will be expected to step up to the plate. The French international still has yet to make a tangible impact on the side since his arrival from Atletico Madrid in the summer.Messi has struggled to gain full fitness since the start of the Liga season, suffering a calf strain in August that kept him out for a month, before enduring a hamstring issue against Villarreal in September.The Argentine star played a part in training, though Valverde still remained on the fence about whether or not he would play a part on Wednesday.”We will see if he (Messi) receives it (the all-clear to play),” Valverde told reporters on Tuesday.”First we have training. What I reiterate is that we will not run any risk and we have to wait for training. “On Monday Dembele did the first part of the training, so now we see if he can do more on Tuesday.”Leo did half the training on Monday, we’ll see if he can finish [Tuesday’s session]. I don’t know if we can count on them in the end.”Conte, on the other hand, will rue the absence of Lukaku, who has enjoyed a bright start to the Serie A season, scoring three goals in his first six domestic appearances to catapult Inter to the top of Italy’s top flight. “Lukaku isn’t here, he had a slight muscular issue in the quadricep that he has been carrying for 10 days,” Conte said.“He was continuing to feel the problem and the tests were negative, but we preferred in any case not to risk him. We have to rely on how the player feels in these cases.”last_img

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