The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana make their La Liga season debut against Villarreal at home, and new manager Ronald Koeman has called up the following 23 players for Sunday’s game:
Goalkeepers: 13. Neto, 25. Iñaki Peña, 33. Arnau Tenas
Defenders: 3. Gerard Piqué, 15. Clément Lenglet, 18. Jordi Alba, 20. Sergi Roberto, 24. Junior Firpo, 30. Ronald Araujo, 32. Santiago Mingo
Midfielders: 5. Sergio Busquets, 6. Carles Aleñá, 8. Miralem Pjanic, 12. Rafinha Alcântara, 14. Philippe Coutinho, 16. Pedri, 21. Frenkie De Jong, 28. Riqui Puig
Forwards: 7. Antoine Griezmann, 10. Lionel Messi, 11. Ousmane Dembélé, 17. Francisco Trincão, 22. Ansu Fati
Koeman’s first squad has no real big surprises, although it is nice to see Riqui Puig on the list. The defense looks pretty thin and has two Barça B youngsters in Ronald and Mingo but the midfield is filled with names including that of Rafinha, who will be in uniform after not featuring at all in preseason. Marc-André ter Stegen (knee), Martin Braithwaite (hamstring) and Samuel Umtiti (knee) miss out through injury.
Predicted starting XI (4-2-3-1):
Neto; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Griezmann, Coutinho, Ansu Fati; Messi
The match kicks off at 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
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