Soccer

Barcelona vs Girona live friendly

Barcelona’s preparations for the new season continue with a preseason friendly against Girona this evening.Barcelona vs Girona is scheduled for a 6pm BST kick-off on Wednesday, September 16.

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The match will be played behind closed doors at Estadi Johan Cruyff with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.Barca’s 2019/20 season ended in desperate fashion.

the Blaugrana lost their LaLiga title to rivals Real Madrid before crashing out of the Champions League semi-finals in a humiliating 8-2 defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich.

That defeat cost Ernasto Valverde his job, while talisman Lionel Messi tried and failed to leave the club as Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu won the contract standoff – for now, at least.New head coach Ronald Koeman .

now has the huge task of attempting to bring an openly defiant Messi back onside, while Barca must find a way to restore their domestic dominance and also compete in Europe. So, no pressure then.

Miralem Pjanic will have to wait for his Barcelona debut as the Blaugrana face Girona in a friendly this evening in Ronald Koeman’s second game in charge.The Bosnian midfielder missed Saturday’s 3-1 win over Segunda B side Gimnastic Tarragona after testing positive for Covid-19 at the end of August and has been left out of the squad for this match as well.

Pjanic, who signed from Juventus in a €60 million deal in June, has been back in training after a period of quarantine and arrived in Barcelona on Thursday night.Koeman opted for a 4formation in the match against Gimnastic and is likely to repeat that system.

Wednesday.The Dutch coach gave all of his players 45 minutes in the first friendly of pre-season, but could hand some extra playing time to some of his squad in the meeting with Girona at the Johan Cruyff Stadium.

Captain Lionel Messi is expected to start again after he played the first half against Nastic, but Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal have been left out of the squad for the second game in a row and could leave the Catalan club in the coming days.Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen remains sidelined after undergoing surgery on a knee problem last month.

Defender Samuel Umtiti is also still injured, while fellow centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo has not been included in the squad despite receiving the all-clear following a positive coronavirus test last month.

There should be few issues for Barca against a side who finished fifth in Segunda B last term; expect plenty of rotation from Koeman, and a comfortable win.

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