The hosts are heading into the match on the back of a thumping 6-0 win over Pumas UNAM in their final pre-season friendly last Sunday, while Rayo Vallecano played out a goalless draw against Valladolid.
Barcelona will host Rayo Vallecano in their opening match of the 2022-23 La Liga season at the Camp Nou on Saturday night. The Catalan outfit had finished second in the standings last term and would be aiming to make a perfect start to the new campaign. Rayo Vallecano, meanwhile, finished 12th in the La Liga Santander last term. The hosts are heading into the match on the back of a thumping 6-0 win over Pumas UNAM in their final pre-season friendly of the summer last Sunday, while Rayo Vallecano played out a goalless draw against Valladolid two days earlier.
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— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 13, 2022
Barcelona put six goals past Pumas UNAM courtesy of a brace from Pedri and one goal each from Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong. The Blaugrana had an impressive pre-season going unbeaten in seven friendlies, while winning five of them. Despite going through financial constraints, Barcelona have managed to make a number of big summer-signings, bringing in Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie and Raphinha. On paper, Barcelona looks like a formidable team and the fans are optimistic about the team’s chances under head coach Xavi’s first full-season at the club.
Rayo Vallecano on the other hand, have also been busy in the transfer market, bringing in Unai Lopez, Salvi Sanchez, Sergio Camello and Florian Lejeune. Rayo had some strong results in the pre-season, losing just one of their six friendlies, , while registering draws against Manchester United (1-1), Birmingham City (2-2) and Real Valladolid (0-0). Their two victories came against Sheffield Wednesday (2-0) and Leganes (2-1).
Barcelona’s new signing Kounde will have to wait to make his debut because his registration is not yet completed, while the rest of the squad except Gerard Pique is fit and ready to go. The new-look front three of Raphinha, Dembele and Lewandowski has been firing on all cylinders in the last couple of friendlies and they are likely to start the match. Captain Sergio Busquets is expected to marshal the midfield with two promising youngsters Gavi and Pedri in support. Since Pique is sidelined with injury, Christensen could partner Eric Garcia in the central defence. As for Rayo, veteran striker Radamel Falcao could lead the line with Palazon, Trejo and A Garcia in support. U Lopez and Ciss are likely to pull the strings in the midfield.
Barcelona probable starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Araujo, Christensen, E Garcia, Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Dembele, Lewandowski, Raphinha
Rayo Vallecano probable starting line:Dimitrievski; Balliu, Suarez, Catena, F Garcia; U Lopez, Ciss; Palazon, Trejo, A Garcia; Falcao
The La Liga match between Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano will take place at Camp Nou on Sunday at 12:30 am IST.
|Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano||key details|
|Date||August 13 (Spain)|
|Kickoff time in India||12:30 am (Sunday)|
|Kickoff time in Spain||9:00 pm (Saturday)|
The live coverage of the match is available on Sports18 network, Voot Select and MTV India.