Barcelona vs Chelsea preview: latest team news, probable line-ups, score predictions & more
Blaugrana face Chelsea on Tuesday in their first pre-season clash of the summer.
⚽️ Team news
All 26 players who have travelled to Japan on Saturday seem good and well to play against Chelsea. Late exclusion aside everyone should be fit to face the Europa League winners. As a reminder, Suarez, Messi, Coutinho and Vidal are still on vacation after their Copa America performances.
As for the Blues, they are missing midfielder N'Golo Kante, has flown to London to treat his knee injury. Another absentee, goalkeeper Kepa, has recovered after missing the Kawasaki loss due to a stomach bug. He is quite likely to start against the Catalans. The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger are also not available as they are still recovering from various injuries while Willian enjoys his post-Copa America break.
⚽️ Stats to know
- The teams have met each other on 17 occasions, including 14 in the Champions League.
- Surprisingly, their balance is relatively even with Barca having a slight advantage: 6 victories to Chelsea's 5 and 6 draws.
- We also met the Blues in a friendly once, four years ago in the USA, in a 2-2 draw.
- Our most iconic meeting was definitely the clash at Stamford Bridge in 2009 which will be forever remembered by Blaugrana for iconic Iniesta's goal.
⚽️ Probable Barca line-up
We expect Valverde to come out all guns blazing in his first clash of 2019/20 and to start with his strongest line-up. He will have a chance to test Barca new signings - Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong as well as giving playing time to the youngsters in the second half. Giving the absence of Luis Suarez, the Frenchman is likely to start up front.
XI: Ter Stegen; Alba, Lenglet, Pique, Semedo; de Jong, Busquets, Rakitic; Dembele, Griezmann, Malcom.
⚽️ Score predictions
Bleacher Report: Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea
"The UEFA Europa League winners should provide Barcelona with a good test ahead of their second match of the tour against J-League side Vissel Kobe. The Blues may be slightly ahead in terms of their pre-season preparations, but Barcelona have a squad packed full of talent and a number of key signings keen to make an impression."
90min: Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea
"Barcelona look set to field a team missing a number of key senior players, whereas the Chelsea lineup will be formidable and eager to avenge their loss against Kawasaki Frontale. A tight encounter is expected, but Chelsea might just edge it."
⚽️ Quotes from the manager
Valverde: “We are Barca and we have to win always. [The goal is] to maintain our defined style, and it will be throughout the season. The people demand it from us.”