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Oct 24, 2018


Despite the absence of Lionel Messi, Everyone expects Barcelona to do enough to secure a vital three points when they host Inter Milan at the Camp Nou.


FC Barcelona Need to Go All Out in this Must Win Challenge

FC Barcelona vs Inter Milan Match Preview


Yet another must win match is staring at us, despite winning the first two group stage matched pretty convincingly. Lionel Messi's absence would be the most talking point of the night and it will take enormous effort for the players to just keep their focus on the task when they face Inter Milan at the Camp Nou.


Inter Milan like Barcelona have won the first two group stage matches and sits comfortably in the second position in the league. The performance in the Group stages has been a huge surprise to many; a lot of people expected Tottenham to do well. Instead, it's Inter which is giving Barcelona the toughest fight.





FC Barcelona vs Inter Milan, A Must Win for Barca?


A lot of people will be considering me crazy for describing this match also as a must-win. As a matter of fact, I did describe the last match against Tottenham as Must-Win! Now in a group, you cannot have six must-win matches, right? Despite all these, I would still describe this match as a must win. The reasoning is simple and given below.


One of the reasons why this becomes a must-win encounter is due to the absence of Lionel Messi. With him being absent, there would be questions raised about whether the team will be able to spearhead the challenge. The perfect answer for all the doubters will be a victory tonight at the Camp Nou. That not only silence the doubters but also prepare the team perfectly for the weekend's 'El Clasico'.


The second and the most important is the fact that this still remains one of the toughest groups of the Champions League. Tottenham may have not won any match so far, but they could still make a come-back and make the situation tricky for everyone. Let's say if Tottenham wins today and we fail to win, suddenly the equation changes.


We have the next two Group Matches away from home, and going by our away record so far this season; it may not inspire confidence. In that sense, this becomes a must-win match. If we secure three points from tonight's match, we more or less assure ourselves of the top spot and it would be between others to fight for the second spot.


Despite the absence of Messi, Barca should go fearlessly into the match


Fate loves the fearless. James Russell Lowell

To get that victory, the Coach and the Players need to be ruthless and fearless when they line-up against Inter Milan at the Camp Nou. Inter has been a tricky customer, showing enormous grit in grinding out results and they don't give up easily. The way they turned around the match against Tottenham and the late winner against AC Milan shows they are a side to be reckoned with.


Despite that Barcelona should go in with a positive attitude, trying to seal the result early. The most important factor will be to have the correct formation and set of players on the field. Valverde should field a 4-5-1 formation with Coutinho playing behind Saurez. But knowing Valverde, it could be still the 4-3-3 with Dembele coming in and occupying the Messi position.


The squad list for this match have Marc-André Ter Stegen, Nélson Semedo, Gerard Piqué, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur Melo, Luis Suárez, Ousmane Dembélé, Rafinha, Jasper Cillessen, Malcom, Clément Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Munir El Haddadi, Sergi Roberto, Arturo Vidal, and Chumi. Ideally we should have a five-man midfield of Busquets, Arthur, Rakitic and Dembele with Coutinho lying further up. The reason why I want Coutinho to play that role is that we will be missing Messi's contribution in the middle.


But most probably we will be playing the 4-3-3 role and if Inter packs the midfield, then we could struggle to break them down. Dembele's pace is an option to stretch the defense, but he is too erratic with his touch. If we play a 4-3-3 and if Inter line up in their normal 4-5-1, we could be in serious trouble. They will always have a man advantage in midfield and that usually spells bad news for us.


How well we do in this match will depend much on how Valverde reacts to the loss of Messi! If he plays the same formation, then life could become seriously tricky. Especially with a porous defense! But if he adapts to the Inter's midfield strategy and tries to out-maneuver them, the match may become much easier. The game will be decided in the midfield and that's Valverde needs to understand!

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