On 27th September 2020, Barcelona will be starting their La Liga campaign against Villareal. Initially, they were going to start against Elche in the first week of August. However, as they played the Champions League in August, they were given a break of two weeks. Now, the time to start afresh season is nearing, and just like every year, it is also time for them to play the Joan Gamper Trophy. Barcelona will lock horns with Elche, which newly got promoted to La Liga after defeating Girona in the play-offs. So, let us see how the Catalans will be lining up against Elche for their first match at Camp Nou before the start of their new season.
Barcelona’s line-up against Elche for the final:
The official squad list of the match is out. The players that will be a part of the game are:
Neto, Inaka Pena, Arnau Tenas, Semedo, Araujo, Pique, Lenglet, Roberto, Alba, Junior Firpo, Alena, Busquets, De Jong, Alena, Pjanic, Pedri, Konrad, Griezmann, Dembele, Coutinho, Braithwaite, Trincao, Ansu Fati and Messi.
These are the 23 players that will be up against Elche. Suarez and Vidal have been dropped as they move closer to their departure from the Catalans. Riqui Puig has also not been included in the squad. It is being reported that the Dutch coach has asked him to look for a new club as he does not need Puig’s services in his midfield. Now, let us see how Koeman will be lining up against the newly-promoted club. In the previous match, we saw the Dutchman use a formation of 4-2-3-1, with Greizmann being the sole striker. That formation did seem to work quite well for Koeman with Messi scoring a brace and Coutinho the third. The attack was quite aggressive with Trincao, Messi, Coutinho, and Griezmann linking up well.
However, with Pjanic joining, Trincao might lose his place in the starting 11. The coach might go with the formation of 4-2-3-1 once again, or he may also try a formation of 4-2-1-3. He might be looking forward to trying Pjanic. It will be Pjanic’s first game ever since he joined the club. So, the Dutchman might give the former Juventus player a chance to prove his worth. With the formation of 4-2-1-3, De Jong and Busquets might play as DMF, Pjanic as CMF, Messi, Coutinho, and Griezmann as the attacking trio. However, the previous formation of 4-2-3-1 is also possible. But, as per our sources, the starting 11 for the curlers will be:
Neto, Semedo, Alba, Pique, Lenglet, De Jong, Busquets, Pjanic, Coutinho, Griezmann and Messi.
What is the Joan Gamper Trophy?
The Joan Gamper Trophy is a friendly match that the La Liga giants Barcelona play before starting their new season every year. It usually takes place in August. However, it had to be postponed this time due to the ongoing pandemic. It is hosted at the home stadium of the Blaugranas, i.e., Camp Nou. The trophy is named in honor of one of the founding members of Barcelona, Joan Gamper. Enric Llaudet, Joan’s successor as the club president, had inaugurated this competition in 1986. Teams from the leagues like Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga have competed for this trophy. However, Barcelona is the most successful team with 42 titles to their name. It will be interesting to see if Koeman’s squad can win the club their 43rd title.