Luciano Spalletti instructs Inter ‘to play with self-belief’

Inter Coach Luciano Spalletti believes Barcelona will stick with their 4-3-3 formation despite Lionel Messi’s absence on Wednesday.

The Nerazzurri boss has stressed his side must not focus on marking any individual players but instead using the ball better and playing with self-belief.

“Whenever you are facing Barcelona and the talent they have all over the field, one of the best teams in the world, inevitably they are going to be the favourites at Camp Nou,” Spalletti told his pre-match press conference.

“We must have great self-belief that doesn’t tip over into arrogance, because we are going through a strong period of form. We’ve got to repeat what we did in the last few games and maintain humility, relying on all our love for this sport.

“Even if his replacements will want to show all they can do, Messi remains a different player to the rest. When you think you’ve seen it all, he invents something different. The problem for us won’t be how to mark one player or another, but how we can use the ball better.

“It’s difficult to say what Ernesto Valverde will do in Messi’s absence, but I expect a 4-3-3. He has quick players, technical ones like Rafinha who can go between the lines. I take this opportunity to salute Rafinha and thank him for all he did for us last season, as he was fundamental during that loan spell.”

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