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Aug 7, 2022 at 7pm UK


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Preview: Barcelona vs. Pumas - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Barcelona vs. Pumas - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Joan Gamper Trophy clash between Barcelona and Pumas, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Barcelona will welcome Mexican side Pumas to Camp Nou on Saturday evening in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

The Catalan giants will begin their 2022-23 La Liga campaign at home to Rayo Vallecano on August 13, while Pumas are already six matches into their Opening Championship season, sitting ninth on eight points.

Match preview

Barcelona have won the Joan Gamper Trophy on 44 occasions in their history, including last year, when they recorded a 3-0 victory over Italian giants Juventus, while they have also overcome the likes of Arsenal, Boca Juniors, Roma and Santos in the competition over the last 10 years.

The Catalan giants had been due to take on Roma in the fixture, but the Italian side pulled out of the contest and have now been replaced by Pumas, who have already started their domestic season.

Barcelona have played five pre-season friendlies this summer, starting their preparations for the new campaign with a 1-1 draw against Olot on July 13 before beating Inter Miami and Barcelona in quick succession.

Xavi's side then drew 2-2 with Juventus before ending their pre-season tour of North America with a 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls last weekend.

Barcelona, who will begin their 2022-23 La Liga campaign at home to Rayo Vallecano on July 13, have been busy this summer despite their ongoing financial issues, bringing in Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde.

Pumas, meanwhile, are six matches into their 2022 Opening Championship campaign, picking up eight points from six matches, which has left them in ninth position in the Liga MX table.

The Mexican outfit will enter this contest off the back of a 1-1 draw with Monterrey last weekend, with Dani Alves in the side following his arrival this summer; the Brazilian was released by Barcelona at the end of July following the expiration of his contract, but he will be back at Camp Nou for this contest.

Pumas will be taking on Barcelona for just the second time in their history, with the last meeting seeing the Catalan outfit run out 6-1 winners.

The seven-time Mexican champions have an important league fixture against Club America on August 13, but the chance to face a team of Barcelona's ilk does not come around too often, and Andres Lillini's side will be determined to make the most of the unexpected opportunity.

Barcelona friendlies form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Pumas form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Team News

Barcelona boss Xavi is now shaping his side for the new season, so it would not be a surprise to see the XI that he has in mind for the Rayo contest take to the field for the first whistle.

There will again be wholesale changes throughout the contest, but Lewandowski should lead the line, and the Poland international will be bidding to score his first goal for the club.

Ousmane Dembele could edge out Raphinha to start on the right, while there might be a debut in the middle of the defence for Kounde, with Ronald Araujo potentially featuring at right-back.

Frenkie de Jong could again be involved despite the ongoing speculation surrounding his future, but the Netherlands international is unlikely to be considered for a spot in the first XI.

As for Pumas, Alves is set to start against his former club, with the Brazilian likely to play in central midfield.

Head coach Lillini will make full use of his squad in this match, but it is expected to be a familiar starting side, with Argentine Juan Ignacio Dinenno set to lead the attack.

Eduardo Salvio, formerly of Atletico Madrid, is also likely to feature in a forward area for the Mexican outfit, but Jorge Ruvalcaba is expected to miss the contest due to a foot injury.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Araujo, Christensen, Kounde, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Dembele, Lewandowski, Fati

Pumas possible starting lineup:
Gonzalez; Bennevendo, Ortiz, Freire, J Rodriguez; Salvio, Alves, Meritao, L Lopez, Del Prete; Dinenno

We say: Barcelona 3-1 Pumas

Pumas are capable of making this a difficult match for Barcelona, with the Mexican outfit boasting a lot of quality, while they should be in good shape from a fitness point of view. That said, we are fully expecting the home side's additional quality to shine through on the night.

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