UEFA Champions League


Luciano Spalletti’s Inter side are preparing for their prestigious third test in Group B of the UEFA Champions League against Barcelona at the Camp Nou tomorrow: “When you come up against an opponent like this, one of the strongest teams in the world with talent in every position, it’s normal not be favourites. However, we must be confident, without drifting into arrogance due to the good run that we’re having. We must put in a performance of great effort and mental substance. We should take onto the pitch all of the love that we have for this sport and all the sufferings of our fans from the last few years. We will treat this as a key match, hugely important".

There were also plenty of questions from the Spanish press linked to the absence of Lionel Messi: “For those in my profession, you can’t change your attitude just for one player. It’s clear that Messi is a different footballer. When you think you’ve seen it all in football, he makes you see things differently. Barcelona would obviously be stronger with him, but they still have a lot of top players so we must make sure that we’re not dominated by the opposition. The most important thing tomorrow evening will be to control the ball in the right manner. We must show ambition during these matches and play teams of this level without dropping off. It all starts from having the right attitude to face up to what happens during the course of a game. However, my team is well aware of the task in hand and won’t be surprised".

He also spoke about the physical condition of the squad and the possible team that will play: “We’ll have to assess those who played on Sunday evening. Brozovic is still feeling a bit of discomfort in his muscles, while Perisic seems to have overcome the knock he picked up. Miranda will play. Will Lautaro replace Nainggolan? Everybody is curious to see how he would get on alongside Icardi but tomorrow’s match is not the right one to experiment with the team. Any changes have to be done a little at a time, thus preserving the balance of the team. We will have to manage the ball well tomorrow,  we can't simply play with those who score the most goals. We don’t have many options in that position, we have three options in midfield and someone will have to grit their teeth".

(Photo Getty Images)