Barcelona are set to kick off their pre-season tour this evening with a friendly against Premier League side Arsenal. After the match with Juventus was cancelled due to a stomach virus that ripped through the squad, this will be the first time game for the senior side since beating J-League side Vissel Kobe 2-0 in Tokyo on the 6th of June.
Not only will tonight be a good opportunity to see the boys in competitive action, but Barca will also be wearing their brand new if controversial white away strip.
Some fans don’t like the white based on Real Madrid, but Barcelona have a history of white kits with the most famous being the one that Johan Cruyff wore during the 1970’s.
We’ve got all the information you need ahead of tonight’s game, including the projected lineups for both teams.
Barcelona vs Arsenal: Game Information
Date: Thursday (AM), July 27th 2023
Location: SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles
Kick-off: 7:30 pm Local time (PST). 3:30 am GMT, 4:30 am CEST
UK: Match pass can be bought from Arsenal’s official website
USA: ESPN live broadcast – ESPN+
DAZN will also show the game for those living in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Canada.
Sport TV2 will show the game in Portugal.
Barcelona Team News
Alejandro Balde is still working his way back from an ankle injury and he’s not expected to feature tonight. Inigo Martinez has only just started team training after recovering from injury, so Xavi may opt to bring him on slowly and the official Barcelona site has stated he’s yet to be declared fit to play. Otherwise, Barca has a full team to choose from with everyone having recovered from the illness at the weekend.
Predicted Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen (GK), R. Araujo (RB), Kounde (CB), Christensen (CB), Alonso (LB), Gundogan (CM), De Jong (CM), Gavi (CM) Pedri (LW) Raphinha (RW), Lewandowski (ST)
Arsenal Team News
The Gunners are still without a few key players with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Reiss Nelson likely missing the game tonight. New signings Declan Rice and Kai Havertz are available for Arsenal, and Mikel Arteta has preached patience with Havertz as he adapts to his new role and new team, with both him and Rice struggling against Manchester United last time out.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Timber, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
Note from FanSided Arsenal site ‘Pain in the Arsenal’: “Pre-season hasn’t quite been as successful for the Gunners compared to 2022, with Mikel Arteta finding it a little tougher to discover his optimal formula. Nevertheless, after disappointing last time out against United, he’ll be determined to end the club’s tour on a high”
Barcelona vs Arsenal: Prediction
As PITA mentioned above, Arsenal are struggling to find their best XI. I watched the Arsenal vs Manchester United game and was surprised to see how well United controlled the midfielder, considering they were playing a youngster in Kobbie Mainoo. With that being said, Arsenal have played a lot more competitive football, and we’re likely to see some rust within the Barcelona ranks tonight.
Xavi largely knows his best XI, but pre-season is the time to experiment. Players on the fringe like Sergino Dest and Ferran Torres will be looking to get minutes in the bank, and hopefully, we’ll see some of the youngsters like Mikail Faye, Fermin Lopez and Lamine Yamel
Barcelona 2-2 Arsenal