Barcelona vs Inter MilanUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Oct 2, 2019, Nou Camp
THESE are testing times for Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and you get the impression he's just a few bad results away from being the shown the door at the Nou Camp.
The pressure that's mounting on the former Bilbao gaffer seems a bit harsh, given he has led Barca to successive La Liga crowns since taking charge.
But Champions League shortcomings have turned up the heat on Valverde, with his side surrendering huge first-leg leads to crash out to Roma and Liverpool in the last two seasons.
That memorable semi-final collapse at Anfield last term, where the Reds overturned a 3-0 deficit, left a deep psychological scar at the Nou Camp and may have played a role in their poor start to the new La Liga campaign.
A stunning scissor-kick from the evergreen Aritz Aduriz saw Valverde crash at old club Bilbao on the opening weekend and they have since dropped further points at Osasuna and Granada.
The 2-0 defeat at Granada followed a stalemate in the Champions League opener at Dortmund, with Barca fortunate to escape with a point after Marc Andre Ter Stegen saved Marco Reus' penalty.
Many fans called for Valverde's head after the Granada defeat with Barcelona in danger of falling too far behind the pack in their title defence.
But he has responded with back-to-back wins over Villarreal and Getafe, with the champions now just two points behind leaders Real Madrid.
Valverde hasn't been helped by Lionel Messi's injury worries, with his talisman featuring just three times this term. Messi missed the win over Getafe but has made a surprise return to the starting line-up for the clash with Inter.
Ousmane Dembele, the maverick Frenchman who has yet to live up to the hype since his big-money move from Dortmund, was also an injury doubt but has recovered to claim a place on the bench.
With the early-season problems at the Nou Camp, many punters might take a nibble at the 9/2 Marathonbet are offering on an Inter Milan victory.
Inter have made a flawless start to the Serie A campaign, winning six games from six to sit ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus, so they head to Catalonia in fine form.
After a busy summer that saw them land the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Diego Godin, hopes are high at the San Siro that Inter can win their first title since 2010 and make an impact in the Champions League.
But their record at the Nou Camp is dismal, with Inter losing all four of their games there and failing to score even a goal. Their last visit came in last season's group stage and the Serie A side were well beaten in a 2-0 defeat.
The Nerazzurri also didn't look too clever in their Champions League opener, needing a late strike from sub Nicola Barrella to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Slavia Prague.
And despite Barcelona's problems this season, their home has still been a fortress, with Valverde's side winning all three games and scoring 12 goals in the process.
Indeed, Barca are unbeaten at the Nou Camp in 23 games and have won their last 13 home matches so the stats point towards a win for the Catalans, especially with Messi fit enough to start.
There has been an average of over four goals in Barca's home games this season so it could also pay to back over 3.5 strikes at 13/8 with Marathonbet.
Chilean striker Sanchez is returning to his old stomping ground but it's unsure if he will start after an eventful game at the weekend. He netted in the 3-1 win at Sampdoria then blotted his copybook by picking up a red card so I wouldn't be surprised if Sanchez started on the bench for this one.
He's 29/10 with Unibet for anytime scorer but I'm more inclined to back another Manchester United old boy, Lukaku, to get on the scoresheet for Inter. His physicality could cause a problem for Barca's defence and Lukaku is a tempting 2/1 with Unibet.
Barcelona's marquee signing this summer was Antoine Griezmann but the Frenchman hasn't impressed so far. For a home scorer I'll be backing Luis Suarez after he broke a three-game scoring drought by netting in the weekend win over Getafe. The Uruguayan is 11/10 with 888 Sport.
This UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Inter Milan will be played on Oct 2, 2019 and kick off at 20:00