Our first midweek game of the season comes in the form of a charity match. As part of a gesture in support for Juan Carlos Unzué, and all sufferers of ALS. Barcelona will be taking on Manchester City live from the Spotify Camp Nou. It’s an incredible occasions for many reasons. The amount of stars there’ll be on the pitch tonight is exciting to think about. From the likes of Pedri, Ansu, Gavi, Araujo, Lewandowski, Frenkie, Kounde, Dembele etc. All the way to Haaland, Bernardo silva, Cancelo and Foden. It’s going to be an absolute exhibition match. Regardless of the fact that it’s only a friendly. You can guarantee that both teams are going to start off strong. Over 70,000 tickets have already been sold and even more are expected to go in the coming hours. So there’s no doubt, it’s going to a brilliant occasion.
The Master Vs The Apprentice:
Like I mentioned previously, the calibre of player on show tonight is exciting to think about. It’s basically a Champions League game without the stress. But for me, the one thing I’m looking forward to the most, is the return of Pep Guardiola. It’s the first time he’ll be back home for at least 7 years. And it’s also going to be the first time our coach Xavi comes up against him. The master Vs the apprentice. Both coaches at very opposite ends of their career. Pep started off exactly where Xavi is now. A young coach at the biggest club in the world. Learning and growing every game.
And now Pep is quite possibly the best coach of all time. Xavi is clear about what he wants at Barça. He’s constantly experimenting. Learning and getting to know more about himself as a coach. Growing every game. He’s one of the most intelligent players there have ever been. And we know just how much that has carried over into his coaching too. We’ve played some beautiful football at times and this is only the start. We’re at the beginning of a new project with Xavi leading it. And it’s extremely exciting. It’s going to be an iconic meeting between Pep and Xavi tonight. And I for one can’t wait for it!
Although it is a friendly. And it comes midway through the week, before we play Valladolid on Sunday. I believe we’ll start off strong. Similar to how we lined up in the Gamper. Starting off strong and then subbing the majority of the squad off later. And to be honest, I can see Man City doing the same sort of thing in Barcelona. It’s going to be a good test nonetheless. And will give us a good indication of where we’re currently at. Perfectly in time for the Champions league draw on Thursday. So although some may find the game unnecessary midway through the start of the season. I think we’ll benefit in the long run. And appreciate having a big test like this early on. The result of course doesn’t count for anything. But obviously we’ll be hoping for a good result in-front of our home fans.
In terms of the lineup. Comparing it to how we lined up against Sociedad, I think Barcelona will return back to the 4-3-3 system vs Man City. Although we will probably see more of the 3 at the back setup as the season goes on. We showed good signs of playing that way on the weekend. And if feels good to be able to have a squad that can adapt to different systems. In the long run, that’ll benefit us greatly. As it is a friendly, the lineup will probably be very different from the one that started against Sociedad. So it’ll be exciting to see what Xavi decides to do.
There’s one player however, that we’re all looking forward to see and that Kounde. I can see him definitely getting a start tonight. Maybe not for the full 90 minutes, but he’ll definitely get a good chunk. And that is a huge bonus for us. I’m not sure if this will sound stupid either. But I have a feeling that Dest might make his way back into the squad tonight. The result of the game doesn’t mean anything. So it might be a good opportunity for Dest to try and prove himself to Xavi again. Especially considering our difficulties at RB at the moment. If we can’t get a new player in, then we’re going to have to rely on Dest. So tonight could be a good chance for him.
No matter what the result is, the most important thing tonight is raising awareness for ALS. And it’s a fantastic gesture from both teams to have organised this game. Proving once again that we are Mes Que Un Club!
Roberto- Kounde- Araujo- Balde
Frenkie- Busi- Kessie
Raphinha- Lewandowski- Ansu
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