An old foe.
Chelsea’s next pre-season friendly comes to us from Saitama in Japan as the Blues take on Barcelona. Barcelona are playing their first pre-season friendly and so should be lacking in fitness compared to the likes of Chelsea. Barcelona won La Liga last season but lost in the Champions League semi’s and the Copa Del Rey final. Barcelona have been busy this summer signing the likes of Neto, Frenkie De Jong, and Griezmann.
Chelsea are looking to bounce back from their defeat to Kawasaki Frontale on Friday as we continue to build a team under Lampard. Lampard has fiddled with 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 in the first few games and while Lampard seems to prefer the first formation I think Chelsea are better suited for the 4-3-3. When we have played the 4-3-3 we have been more fluid in our gameplay although we are missing some key players and so that could also help the 4-2-3-1 function better.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea will be without Kante who travelled back to London after suffering a setback in recovering from his knee injury. Expect the rest to feature with Kepa, Abraham, and Tomori starting in one of the halves. As we approach the start of the season Lampard should start fielding a starting lineup that consists of players that will start the seasons first game against United.
Barcelona Team Preview
Barcelona have taken a 26 man squad to Japan. Ter Stegen, Neto, and Inaki Pena are their goalkeepers. Semedo, Pique, Todibo, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Umtiti, Araujo, and Guillem are their defenders. Rakitic, Busquets, Sergio, Monchu, Rafinha, Collado, Alena, Riqui Puig, and De Jong are their midfielders. Dembele, Malcom, Griezmann, Perez, and Abe make up their forwards. No Messi and no suarez is a relief but the squad poses enough threat to Chelsea and should be another stern test for our players.
Starting XI Prediction
There is plenty of rivalry between the two sides and Lampard will understand it more than anyone. It might be a friendly but getting one over Barcelona is always fun. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!