Lionel Messi spent the whole of yesterday working with the physios in a bid to be match fit. He will be in the squad, but it has been rumoured that Pep Guardiola will take a last minute decision as to whether to play “La Pulga” or not.
Meanwhile, yeaterday the club was confident of Zlatan’s recovery to face his former team, but he too is not 100% match fit, though Pep may decide to still play him for this crucial match. He is more likely to play than Messi is.
Toure and Abidal will not feature as they are still under the weather with the H1N1 virus.
Marquez is fit and ready to play. This is great news as, without Abidal and Toure, Marquez will be needed to stengthen the defensive line.
Jose Mourinho’s men are in good form and will be licking their lips at the fact that Barcelona’s two star men may not be starting tonight. Inter top the group and went 5 points clear at the top of Serie A after defeating Bologna.
They are without Davide Sandton who is injured; but Wesley Sneijder is fit to play again, after recovering from an ankle injury.
Group F is probably the tightest in the Champions League this season. The order of the table can be changed in just a few hours. If Barca lose tonight and Rubin beat Dynamo, then the Blaugranas are out of the competition. They will howver know the outcome of the Rubin-Dynamo clash before their match kicks off. The Nou Camp will have to act as a fortress tonight. Beating Inter is not an easy task, and with the Nerazzurri’s counter-attack style of play, they pray on teams like Barca who like to go forward. Also, being more tactical I assume Mourinho’s men will choose the physical approach, and we all know that Barca isn’t the best team at dealing with that.
Whoever wins this match will be in a better position for qualifying. Barca need 4 points to guarentee qualification and a win here will take them that much closer. A loss is out of the question (unless Rubin lose as well).
“We know what we have to do,” said Barca captain Carles Puyol.
“We have the same ambitions but we know Barca v Inter is a final and we will face the game as such.
“I don’t like the word failure but not to qualify for the next round would be a huge blow.
“We do have crucial players out injured and if they don’t recover, we still have players that can do well.”
When asked about how they will deal with Eto’o, Puyol said: “Eto’o will return to Barca for the first time since leaving the Blaugrana side in the summer.
“We know him very well,” he said. “He can create goal-scoring chances on his own. We cannot give him any spaces, otherwise he can be dangerous.”