Barcelona v Inter preview
Catalans seek to repeat 2-0 group stage success over Inter
By Steve Pass. Last Updated: 28/04/10 7:11pm
Mourinho: Must stop Lionel Messi once more
The Camp Nou pitch will be well watered when Barcelona take on Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in their UEFA Champions League semi-final clash on Wednesday.
The tie is intriguingly poised as the Catalans seek to overhaul a 3-1 first leg deficit to earn the right to face Bayern Munich in the final at the Santiago Bernabeu - the home of arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Barca found it hard to play their usual passing game last week in Italy as goals from Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito cancelled out Pedro's opener.
But Barca boss Pep Guardiola believes the more favourable conditions at the Camp Nou can help the European champions get the win they need as they seek to become the first team to successfully retain their Champions League crown.
He said immediately after the defeat at the Giuseppe Meazza: "We are going to attack with a field - we are going to put water in the field (at the Camp Nou) - they (Inter) do not want to put water on the field.
"We want to move the ball quicker and are going to try (to win) and we are going to see a good game."
The Catalans will be hoping history repeats itself as they beat Inter 2-0 at the Camp Nou in the group stages of this year's competition after a goalless stalemate in Italy.
But Inter coach Jose Mourinho insisted before the semi-final first leg that his side had improved considerably since the group stages and so it proved last week.
The Italian champions will also take confidence from their last two trips in the knockout phase of this year's competition - 1-0 successes over both CSKA Moscow in the quarter-final and Chelsea at the last-16 stage.
The victory at Stamford Bridge was particularly impressive and the Portuguese tactician will be eyeing more of the same.
The hosts will be missing Andres Iniesta (right thigh) and Eric Abidal, who failed a fitness test on his groin tear on Tuesday.
Guardiola's side will also be without their suspended influential skipper Carles Puyol.
This means Maxwell could start for the Catalans, while Gabriel Milito may replace Puyol.
Inter Milan playmaker Sneijder is set to feature against the Catalans after returning to training following his thigh strain.
The influential Holland ace was withdrawn at half-time against Atalanta on Saturday with a hamstring problem and there were fears he could miss out.
But Inter boss Mourinho has confirmed the midfielder will play, although he might not feature for the whole game.
Mourinho said: "We will see if Sneijder can play the full 90 minutes. He has a minor injury but he will play. There are important matches after this one so I will have to take a risk."
Striker Mario Balotelli has also been named in the squad despite throwing his shirt to the ground following the final whistle of the first leg having been jeered by supporters after he stepped off the bench.
Goran Pandev (thigh) is a doubt, although Inter are hopeful he will shrug off the injury sustained in the first leg.
But Davide Santon (knee) and Francesco Toldo (leg) are definitely out, while Dejan Stankovic is suspended.
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H