Barcelona prepare for a start to life after Lionel Messi this weekend as they host Juventus in the Joan Gamper trophy on Sunday. Both teams have impressive players in their ranks and have a point to prove this weekend.
Juventus are also in a period of transition at the moment and have been well below their best over the past year. The Bianconeri failed to keep their Serie A crown last season and will need to step up to the plate this year.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have endured a tumultuous few years and Lionel Messi’s shock departure may well be the knock-out blow. The Blaugrana are reeling at the moment and have a massive statement of intent to make in this fixture.
Barcelona have a slight edge over Juventus and have won four games out of a total of 10 matches played between the two teams. Juventus have managed three victories against Barcelona and will want to level the scales in this match.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in the UEFA Champions League last year and ended in a 3-0 victory for Juventus. Barcelona were dismal on the night and will want to bounce back this weekend.
Pedri, Eric Garcia, and Oscar Mingueza are 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.
Ilaix Moriba’s contract negotiations have stalled and the youngster will remain unavailable for this match. Sergio Aguero has been training with the squad and could make his Barcelona debut against Juventus.
Injured: Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to training with Juventus and is likely to feature at the Camp Nou. Juventus have a fully-fit squad and will want to be at their best against Barcelona.
Barcelona Predicted XI (4-3-3): Inaki Pena; Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi; Memphis Depay, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Aguero
Juventus Predicted XI (4-3-3): Mattia Perin; Koni De Winter, Radu Dragusin, Daniel Rugani, Mattia De Sciglio; Weston McKennie, Fabio Miretti, Filippo Ranocchia; Dejan Kulusevski, Cristiano Ronaldo, Felix Correia
The Joan Gamper Trophy was destined to be another meeting between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but with the former now a free agent, Barcelona will need their other players to step up and fill a decidedly giant void.
Juventus, on the other hand, have assembled a strong squad and have some excellent players in their ranks. The Bianconeri are the better team at the moment and hold a slight edge going into this game.
Prediction: Barcelona 1-2 Juventus