FC Barcelona (3rd, 6pts) vs SD Huesca (4th, 4pts)
Competition/Round: 2018-19 La Liga, Matchday 3
Barcelona Outs and Doubts: Carles Aleñá, Denis Suarez, Sergi Samper, Rafinha, Thomas Vermaelen (out)
Huesca Outs and Doubts: None
Date/Time: Sunday, September 2, 2018, 6.30pm CET (Barcelona), 5.30pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 12.30pm ET, 9.30am PT (USA), 10pm IST (India)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Mario Melero López
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Eleven Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), others
The worst thing about the start of the European season is that its first three months are cut short by the international break. There’s one in September, then October, then November. It’s hard to get too excited about football when you know there are international games coming, especially those right after a World Cup because they mean absolutely NOTHING.
But we have to accept the calendar as it is, and as Barcelona fans we hope to finish the first month of the season with a perfect record. Couting the Spanish Supercup (kinda), Barça have played three competitive games to this point (more like two and a half), and have won all three (really just two and a half wins). The final match before the break is against newly promoted Huesca at Camp Nou, and Barça should be winning their fourth straight game (or third and a half, really).
Huesca aren’t that traditional and don’t have a big budget, so it’s okay to expect an easy game on Sunday. But you shouldn’t: Huesca have four points from their first two games and came back from two goals down to earn a point away to Athletic Bilbao. That’s not easy to do, and they’re a bold team who will not be afraid of Barça.
The champions, on the other hand, have to play better than they did against Valladolid. The pitch was awful, sure, but the performance left a lot to be desired. Back at home with a perfect pitch to play, there are no excuses. It’s a good challenge, and it’s a good chance to prove that the Valladolid game was just a fluke because of the bad pitch. Barça can play better, and must play better. Will they? We’ll find out.
Barcelona (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Dembélé, Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez
Huesca (4-4-2): Werner; Miramón, Pulido, Etxeita, Luisinho; Gallar, Musto, Melero, Gómez; Hernández, Longo
Again, this won’t be easy, and that’s why Barça need to come out and make a statement: we will win tough games and play well. I trust them to do it: 4-1 to the champions.