After a dramatic twist in their summer tour plans that saw players falling ill with a viral stomach bug and the last-minute cancellation of their anticipated preseason opener against Juventus, FC Barcelona is now gearing up to take on Arsenal at SoFi Stadium in the United States on Wednesday night.
The players have recuperated, and the focus is back on football. Now Xavi will get his first glimpse of the team in a competitive setting since last season’s conclusion in June. The matchup against the London-based Gunners promises to be intense, with Arsenal finishing as Premier League runners-up behind Manchester City. Adding to the excitement, there’s a possibility that both teams may meet again in the upcoming Champions League group stage.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm PT on Wednesday (4:30 am CEST on Thursday) at SoFi Stadium. This is the home to the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, boasting a capacity of 70,240 seats.
Barça enters the game with 15 days of preseason training under their belt. They commenced on July 10 in Barcelona before flying to LA on July 19 to begin their summer tour.
The match against Arsenal presents an opportunity for two of Barcelona’s new signings, Ilkay Gündogan from Manchester City and Oriol Romeu from Girona, to make their blaugrana debuts and become pivotal figures in the midfield. However, Iñigo Martínez, the new central defender signed from Athletic Club Bilbao, will not make his debut yet.
The anticipation is high, and fans can’t wait to witness this exciting preseason showdown as Barcelona continues its preparations for the upcoming season.