Previewing The Match: FC Barcelona v Napoli

Barcelona faceoff against Napoli in the opening fixture of the La Liga v Serie A Cup from Hard Rock Stadium. Image Courtesy of Hard Rock Stadium

After a summer of dormancy, Miami finally awoke from it’s slumber. While locally The Miami FC took home the NPSL Championship, there have been no friendlies in the Magic City. Miami was set to miss European club friendlies for the first time since 2016. That all changed with a late addition of two European mega powers in Barcelona and Napoli.

Barcelona are the defending La Liga champions, however as all fans know, domestic titles aren’t enough. The catalunyan side were bounced early in the knockout stages of Champions League and lost to Valencia in the final of the Copa Del Rey. How did they bounce back? Oh just some mega-signings of Frankie De Jong and Antoine Griezmann. In their final set of friendlies before the start of their campaign, Ernesto Valverde has everyone at his disposal with the exception of Lionel Messi who did not make the trip.

Napoli have finished runner-up to Italian giants Juventus for the past two seasons. The addition of Cristiano Ronaldo to the old lady allowed Juventus to widen their gap over Napoli finishing seven points better over Gli AzzurriThe side from Naples were bounced early from Champions league finishing third in their group. Falling into the Europa League, they were able to enjoy quite a run before encountering Arsenal in the quarter-finals. The quarter-finals would be the end of their run in Coppa Italia as well losing to eventual champions Lazio. In the transfer market, Carlo Ancelotti has been defensive minded signing Konstantinos Manolas (Roma), Alex Meret (Calcio), Eljif Elmas (Fenerbahce), and Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Empoli). A familiar face was brought in between the pipes again as David Ospina departed Arsenal for the Azzurri. 

Tonight’s Rosters

Valverde has called upon 22 members of the first team and 4 members of Barcelona B for the friendly in Miami. The following is Barcelona’s available players for tonight’s friendly:

Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Todibo, Coutinho, Arthur, Suárez, Dembélé, Rafinha, Neto, Lenglet, Wague, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, Aleñá, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Vidal, Umtiti, Junior, Iñaki Peña (25), C. Pérez (27), Riqui Puig (28) and Abel Ruiz (29). 

Ancelotti will have all of his men at his disposal tonight with the exception of rising star Kalidou Koulibaly. Koulibaly has been a transfer target for all of European mega-clubs including Manchester United. The following is Napoli’s available players for tonight’s friendly:

Alex Meret, Allan, Mário Rui, José Callejón, Fabián Ruiz, Simone Verdi, Eljif Elmas, Sebastiano Luperto, Driesertens, Nikola Maksimovic, Piotr Zielinkski, Vlad Chiriches, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Elseid Hysaj, Lorenzo Insigne, David Ospina, Orestis Karnezis, Faouzi Ghoulam, Amin Younes, Konstantinos Manolas, Gianluca Gaetano, Arkadiusz Milik.

You can watch tonight’s match by tuning in to ESPN Deportes or ESPN+. 

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