Barcelona begin their preparations for a crucial new season this week as they take on Gimnastic Tarragona in a pre-season friendly at the Estadi Johan Cruyff on Wednesday. The two Catalan sides have traditionally played a friendly in July and will look to seize the initiative in this match. Gimnastic Tarragona plied their trade in Segunda Division B last year and can pack a punch on their day. The Catalan outfit is making a few changes to its squad this year and will be intent on proving its mettle this week.
Barcelona, on the other hand, seem a resurgent force under Ronald Koeman and will need to win silverware this season. The Blaugrana are equipped with a blend of youth and experience this year and have a point to prove in the coming weeks. Pedri is representing Spain at the Olympics and will be unable to feature in this game. Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are currently recovering from long-term injuries and have been ruled out of this match.
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After finishing seven points adrift of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and falling to a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16, Koeman would have ideally liked to have dipped into a war chest for a busy summer of spending, but it has not panned out that way for the cash-strapped Catalans.