Barcelona continue their preparation for the new season with a trip to Germany to face Stuttgart on Saturday at 5pm (UK time).
Ronald Koeman’s side won the Copa del Rey last season but it was an underwhelming campaign that they cannot afford to repeat amid so much uncertainty at the club.
Stuttgart vs Barcelona build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Last season Stuttgart made their return to the Bundesliga and it was a good one, as they ended the campaign in a comfortable eighth, only missing out on European football by five points as a result of their poor run at the end of the year. But now preparation has started at Stuttgart to try and ensure the Bundesliga return was not a fluke and their hopes to becoming an established top-flight side. Stuttgart are unbeaten in pre-season so far with three wins and two draws including a 1-1 against Liverpool in Austria.
While Stuttgart will have been celebrating last season, Barcelona had a year to forget even with their Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup victories. Under Koeman, the Blaugrana were feeble in the La Liga title race and went out of the Champions League with a whimper against PSG, losing 5-2. Then there’s all the drama surrounding their financial difficulties and the fact that, as of this moment, Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player. But the show has had to go on in pre-season, with Barcelona winning their two games so far, beating Gimnastic and Girona.
- Stuttgart (vs Arminia): Bredlow; Anton, Mavropanso, Kempf; Massimo, Klement, Karazor, Sosa; Didavi, Forster; Kalajdzic*.
- Barcelona (vs Girona): Pena; Dest, Pique, Umtiti, Balde; Roberto, Puig, Gonzalez Iglesias; Demir, Manaj, Mortimer.
Chris Fuhrich will be absent for Stuttgart after breaking his collar bone against Arminia, with the winger undergoing surgery. Sasa Kalajdzic is also out. Barcelona have no fresh concerns and have also welcomed Sergio Busquets, Martin Braithwaite and Jordi Alba to the 25-man squad in Germany.
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NAME: VfB Stuttgart – Barcelona
DATE: 31 Jul 2021
TIME: 16:00 UTC
VENUE: Mercedes Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany