Venue: Camp Nou.
Date and Time: 19th Sep 2020. 7 PM CEST.
Competition: Joan Gamper Trophy.
Barcelona is set to face newly promoted club, Elche for the Joan Gamper Trophy at home ground, Camp Nou. The game is the last friendly game Koeman will take on before officially starting Barcelona’s Laliga campaign against Villareal on 27th Sep.
Barcelona is the team which has won this trophy for the highest; 42 times and Messi is the only player in the history of Joan Gamper Trophy to win MVP for than once; for four times. Messi is also the top scorer of all time in Joan Gamper Trophy with scoring nine goals in total.
Barcelona is facing the newly promoted club, Elche after securing the win against Nastic and Girona 3-1 in previous two friendlies under Koeman. There were many positives from those two games and Koeman will be seeking to win this game in an excellent way to keep that energy and motivation on for Laliga.
The opponents of Barcelona for Joan Gamper Trophy, Elche was promoted to the First Division after beating Girona one month ago. They beat Girona by 1-0 on aggregate and were promoted to the First division after spending five years in the second and third division. They will officially meet Barcelona in Laliga later on 24th Jan 2021.
This is the squad chosen by Barcelona’s coach, Koeman to face Elche for the Joan Gamper Trophy.
The notable change in the squad is the addition of Pjanic and Ansu Fati. Pjanic might make his debut for Barcelona, and Ansu Fati is likely to get some minutes after missing out previous two friendlies due to Hip contusion. Luis Suarez, Rafinha, Vidal and Todibo have again missed out. But the most disheartening change for fans is, Puig has been ruled out because Koeman doesn’t have Puig in his plans according to much reliable sources.
Trincao and Pedri were chosen yet again after showing incredible quality in previous two games under Koeman.
The 23 players selected by Koeman to face Elche for Joan Gamper Trophy are: Neto, Inaki Pena, Arnau Tenas, Semedo, Pique, Busquets, Griezmann, Messi, Dembele, Coutinho, Lenglet, Alba, Braithwaite, Roberto, De jong, Firpo, Alena, Trincao, Pedri, Pjanic, Araujo, Fati and Konrad.
Koeman’s preferred lineup is 4-2-3-1, and we will probably see Pjanic making his debut for Barcelona in the double pivot midfield alongside De jong or Busquets.
Fans are eager to see how Pjanic will do in the midfield and where he will fit in the Koeman’s plan. Culers will also be keen to see some mins of Fati after he missed out previous two friendlies due to Hip contusion. Koeman’s plan has seemed to work so far, and about the defensive issues, Koeman is trying out things too. In this game, we will see how Elche are prepared as later on, Barcelona will have to face them in Laliga. Griezmann will start again probably as the main striker due to the absence of Suarez due to ongoing things surrounding his transfer.
Koeman has been able to show the improvement in terms of taking the game forward. But, there still is an issue in the defence. Alba, Roberto and Semedo haven’t been able to show the bright side, and in the last game against Girona, Araujo had shown his quality and about how he deserves the place in the starting 11. But, it’s up to Koeman, Barcelona has been unable to make any signings for the defence and Koeman is yet to have faith in Todibo; Umtiti has no sign of making his return in this team. We will have to see how Koeman will solve the issues in defence with the limited options he has in his hand.
Barcelona 4 Elche 1
Barcelona will be seeking to end the pre-season on a good note with a good victory against Elche. There surely will be goals from Barcelona side, but after seeing how both Nastic and Girona were able to score one goal against Barcelona, it won’t be surprising if we concede against this newly promoted team, Elche.
Nevertheless, let’s hope for a good ending of pre-season to have that enthusiasm accumulated for Laliga.
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