Season Preview: FC Barcelona

La Liga kicks off tomorrow with Champions Barcelona looking to successfully defend their title. With some activity for the Catalans during the transfer market, how will coach Luis Enrique line up his Barca team this season.

  1. TRANSFER SEASON IMPACT

The Spanish Champions have made a bigger impact on the transfer market than their arch rivals Real Madrid, with Real surprisingly inactive during the summer. Barcelona signed Andre Gomes, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne and Denis Suarez, and got some players back from loan such as Alex Song, Martin Montoya, Cristian Tello and Alen Halilovic. A change between the posts is still expected as Man City look close to sign Claudio Bravo. Barcelona made some impact during the pre-season by winning the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla with an aggregate of 5–0.

2. PLAYING STYLE

Luis Enrique is expected to keep the 4–3–3 formation all players are used to since arriving to the club. However, he had changes in the style of play during his spell at the club, with Barca looking much better on the counter attack than before, and it was crucial against Atletico in La Liga last season. In defence, Aleix Vidal and Jordi Alba look to start at full backs alongside Pique and Mascherano (In case the Argentine opted to stay, he should start ahead of Umtiti). In midfield, Sergio Busquets holds the middle behind Iniesta and Rakitic, with Denis Suarezand Andre Gomes ready to fill in when needed. In attack, The MSN will start without any doubt. Arda and Munir are to fill in when needed in the front.

3. FORMATION

Barca have a second squad like Real Madrid. A squad that would qualify for the Champions League if it was a team on its own. Here is the starting lineup that will be used for the coming season.

4. NEXT MATCH

Barca will play Real Betis tomorrow in the first La Liga game and will be expected to get the three points. With Mascherano and Neymar out of the match, Arda Turan and Samuel Umtiti are expected to fill in.

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