Messi named in Barcelona squad for Inter clash

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Inter Milan will host Barcelona on Tuesday night knowing they are both overwhelming favourites to qualify from Group B. With group rivals Tottenham nearly out of contention with just one point so far against their name, Inter (six points) and Barca (nine) are odds-on to reach the Champions League knockout stages at Spurs' expense.

Barcelona took the last meeting, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Jordi Alba and Rafinha.

Messi has started the season in spectacular form, registering 12 goals and five assists in 11 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions to fire them to the top of La Liga and to the brink of qualification for the Champions League knockout stage. After six games without a goal, he has now hit six in his last four.


Messi is recovering from a broken arm suffered last month, and Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has opted to leave the superstar attacker out of the match at the San Siro, sticking with the same starting XI that scraped past Rayo Vallecano 3-2 at the weekend. We didn't win but we qualified. They passed the ball around really well.

Messi's return means Barcelona are without just three first-team players, with Samuel Umtiti, Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper missing the trip to Milan. With Umtiti out, Barcelona will turn to a center-back pairing of Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique to stop Icardi again. Meanwhile, the Italian hosts can book their spot in the Round of 16 with a win over Barcelona and if Tottenham and PSV draw in the other Group B game.

Behind the backline, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is an automatic selection to man the goal. The club have named Messi in their squad for the match at the San Siro, even if he is yet to be given the medical all-clear.


"We know how many goals Luis and Leo have scored together", Ivan Rakitic said after the match.

Malcom was signed for €40million from Bordeaux in the close-season, but he has struggled to make an immediate impact at Camp Nou, finding himself behind the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order.


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