DATE AND TIME: Saturday; Sep 12 2020; 7 PM CET
VENUE: Johan Cruyff Stadium
Ronald Koeman is set to make his debut as a coach of Fc Barcelona with a friendly against Nàstic de Tarragona, first of the friendlies Barca will play before kicking off the League game against Villareal on Sep 27. It will be interesting to watch how Koeman does in this game regarding lineup, tactics, his preferred players, etc.
About Nàstic de Tarragona
Nàstic de Tarragona currently plays in the 2nd Division B. Barça hadn’t faced Nàstic in an official match since 2007, when they both met in the First Division, but they have played each other for more than 70 years. In their previous encounters, Barca managed eight wins and two draws.
These are the players chosen by Koeman to face Nàstic for the friendly game.
Suarez and Vidal were ruled out possibly due to their ongoing transfer negotiations; Rakitic is now a Sevilla player, Coutinho and Messi made it to the list despite joining in the training late in compared to other teammates.
Much anticipated signings, Trincao and Pedri, are also selected by Koeman. Ousmane Dembele is set to make his mark after his long injury period. Stegen is unavailable after having surgery in his right patellar tendon. Pjanic and Todibo won’t be participating as they just recovered from COVID-19. Fati missed out due to hip contusion in training.
The 25 players called by Koeman are: Neto, Iñaki Peña, Arnau Tenas, N. Semedo, Piqué, Sergio, Griezmann, Messi, O. Dembélé, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Braithwaite, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Junior, Coutinho, Aleñá, Trincao, Pedri, Riqui Puig, R. Araujo, J. Cuenca, Miranda, Konrad and Ilaix Moriba.
Koeman will possibly go with formation 4-2-3-1 with double pivot using De jong and Busquets. Griezmann who recently got the number “7” will probably be upfront as the central striker. Double pivot makes sense with Koeman as he has always been vocal about how De jong isn’t playing at his preferred position.
“The plan is to start playing Frenkie de Jong in the position that he plays with the national team as well. You’ve spent a lot of money on a young player. You should then play him in his own position, where he can perform in a way you’d expect from him”
We don’t have many options in the defence so it will be as usual probably. One notable thing about this game is, Koeman has said that no player will play more than 45 mins which means we will possibly see many youngsters making their mark in this game.
Coutinho, after demolishing Barca in Barca vs Bayern will be eager to show his commitment for the team. There have been some vital changes in the team as with departure of Rakitic and absence of Suarez and Vidal from the squad list.
Fc Barcelona needs to recover their game, their domination in football and Koeman needs to work on it. This game will be a test of his mindset, which is why even though it’s a friendly game, fans will be watching this game.
And, finally, More than anything, Fans will be most anxious to see the return of Dembele after 191 days.
It will be an exciting game; Are we going to see a different Barcelona or Is Koeman going to be a similar version of the previous managers, we will get some clue from this game.
FC Barcelona 3 Nàstic de Tarragona 0
There will be many goals to see from Barcelona, and we will be going into this match in an attacking mode for sure. Let’s hope for an exciting game with Fc Barcelona under Koeman.