Barcelona To Face Real Betis In League Opener – Match Preview
FC Barcelona kick off their defense of the BBVA Primera Liga at home to a much-changed Betis on Saturday evening.
A 18:15 kick off local time means the game is likely to be played in high temperatures and with high humidity that will do Barca few favors, coming less around 67 hours after the end of the second leg of the Spanish Supercup against Sevilla.
That game saw Barca emerge triumphant with a 5-0 aggregate over their rivals to win the first domestic title of the season. However, the Supercup came at a price as Andres Ineista (knee), Jeremy Mathieu (hamstring) and Javier Mascherano all suffered injuries and are out for the weekend and probably next week as well.
Ter Stegen has also failed to recover from a knee injury which poses the question over whether Luis Enrique will favor Claudio Bravo, who looks to be on the verge of a move to Manchester City, or give a chance to third choice keeper Jordi Masip.
The Barca coach rested Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and Sergio Roberto on Wednesday and they will all go straight into the side, while Arda Turan wil continue on the left after producing his best performance in a Barca shirt.
Betis travel to Barcelona after a busy summer which started with them naming Gustavo Poyet as their first team coach.
The former Brighton and Sunderland coach has been able to work with his new squad all summer and the arrival of players such as Charlie Musonda (who returns for a second loan spell), David Lopez and Antonio Sanabria promises to give the Seville based side a more competitive look this campaign.
As always all eyes will be on the Camp Nou when the game gets under way because as always when Barca go into action every action in the game is under the miscroscope.