Barcelona will be looking to make it four wins from their opening four pre-season matches this summer when they take on Italian giants Juventus on Tuesday night. The Catalan giants will enter the contest off the back of a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid on Saturday evening, while Juventus opened their preparations for the new season with a 2-0 success over Guadalajara. Barcelona started their preparations for the new season with a 1-1 draw against Olot on July 13 before heading out to North America for their pre-season tour, and Xavi’s side opened their schedule with an impressive 6-0 victory over Phil Neville’s Inter Miami side on July 19.
The Catalan giants then had the small matter of a Clasico with Real Madrid in Las Vegas on Saturday evening, with Raphinha’s first-half strike proving to be the difference between the two sides. Robert Lewandowski led the Barcelona attack, with the Poland international playing the opening 45 minutes following his arrival from Bayern Munich, while there was also a spot for fellow new signing Andreas Christensen at the heart of the defence. Franck Kessie was also involved, with the Ivorian making a strong impression in the early stages of his time at the club, and Barcelona will now face Juventus and New York Red Bulls in their final two friendlies on tour before taking on Pumas UNAM in the Joan Gamper Trophy on August 7.
The Catalans have truly arrived under Xavi, and with some great signings as well it seems that the club will be gunning for all of the trophies on offer this season. They will try their luck against Italian heavyweights Juventus this Wednesday. It was a season to forget for Barca, as not only did they get eliminated in the group stages of the Champions League but they also had to take part in the Europa League which was considered to be a demotion for them. However, they were successful in bringing the reigning FIFA Best Player Robert Lewandowski and they also made some huge signings in the names of Ousmane Dembele, Rafinha etc. And rumor is ripe that Jules Kounde will also arrive at the Nou Camp in order to put an end to their defensive woes.
Under Xavi they have been finding the back of the net in plenty and just this last match-day they had a confidence-boosting win against arch-rivals and 14-time European champions Real Madrid. Fans all over the world are happy to watch the rise of this once proud Spanish team, and their El Clasico rivalry. Meanwhile Juventus are also trying their absolute best to find their glory days back. They did finish 4th in the Italian topflight the last season and this time around their objective will really be to go for a podium finish. However, it needs to be considered that their recent form has not at all been impressive and they have also been letting in goals in huge numbers.
Xavi’s side will begin their 2022-23 La Liga campaign at home to Rayo Vallecano on July 13, meanwhile, and they will be looking to improve on what was a largely disappointing 2021-22 season, having finished second in Spain’s top flight, 13 points behind the champions Real Madrid. Juventus, meanwhile, started their preparations for the new campaign with a 2-0 victory over Mexican outfit Guadalajara on Friday night. Marco Da Graca and Mattia Compagnon scored the goals for the Old Lady, who are building towards their 2022-23 Serie A opener against Sassuolo on August 15. Massimiliano Allegri’s side will face Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in their final three friendlies of the summer, and like their opponents here, the team will be looking to improve on last season, having finished fourth in Serie A, 16 points behind the champions AC Milan.
Juventus have brought in Bremer, Andrea Cambiaso, Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria this summer, while Matthijs de Ligt has been their major outgoing, with the Netherlands international making the move to Bayern Munich in a £60m deal. The Old Lady are still attempting to improve their squad for the new season, where they be looking to return to the top of Italian football once again, in addition to being competitive in the Champions League. Barcelona boss Xavi is unlikely to make many changes from the side that started against Real Madrid in El Clasico, as a number of the players only played 45 or 62 minutes. Kessie could come back into the midfield, though, with the Ivorian potentially replacing Gavi, while Sergino Dest might be given a start at right-back, with Ronald Araujo moving inside.
Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will both be pushing for starts, but Raphinha, Lewandowski and Ansu Fati could continue as the front three. Meanwhile, there is unlikely to be a starting role for Frenkie de Jong, as the Netherlands international continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United. As for Juventus, head coach Allegri is expected to make changes to the side that started against Guadalajara, with summer arrivals Pogba and Bremer likely to come into the XI. Leonardo Bonucci and Dusan Vlahovic were unused substitutes in the team’s first friendly of the summer, but the pair are expected to be in the side against Barcelona. Denis Zakaria could also come into the midfield, but there are not likely to be alterations in the full-back areas, with Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro set to continue in the side.
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Christensen, Araujo, Alba; Kessie, Busquets, Pedri; Fati, Lewandowski, Raphinha
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Sczcesny; Cuadrado, Bremer, Bonucci, Sandro; Locatelli, Pogba, Zakaria; Di Maria, Vlahovic, Kean