?This pre-season clash sees La Liga champions Barcelona face off against Europa League winners Chelsea in the Rakuten Cup on Tuesday.
The match will be Barcelona’s first runabout of pre-season and with a number of their B team players called up into the travelling squad, it’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to impress ahead of the La Liga season.
Chelsea boss Lampard may look to tinker with his squad to find the winning formula as the Blues prepare for the Premier League season with a transfer ban looming the club.
If previous meetings between these two are anything to go by, Tuesday’s match looks set to be a cracker.
Here is 90min’s preview of the game.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Tuesday 23 July|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||11:30 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Saitama Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Chelsea TV/ESPN 2|
A number of key players have been left out of the travelling ?Barcelona squad due to their participation in the Copa America. Ernesto Valverde has given extended leave to the likes of ?Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and ?Luis Suarez.
For Chelsea, both Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missed out against Kawasaki Frontale through illness.
Midfielder N’Golo Kante has ?returned to the UK as he steps up his rehabilitation for a knee injury suffered at the end of last season. The Frenchmen has been unable to play a part in Chelsea’s pre-season thus far.
Chelsea are also without ?Ruben Loftus-Cheek
|Barcelona||Neto; Semedo, Todibo, Umtiti, Alba; Monchu, Busquets, De Jong; Malcom, Abe, Griezmann.|
|Chelsea||Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Alonso; Barkley, Mount, Bakayoko; Pedro, Kenedy, Giroud.|
?Barcelona’s game against ?Chelsea will be their first pre-season fixture of the year. The Catalan giants ended the season with only one win in their last five, including a shock 4-0 loss to ?Liverpool that sent them crashing out of the ?Champions League. ?
?Chelsea have had a mixed bag of results in their recent fixtures. The Blues suffered their first defeat under Lampard in a 1-0 loss to Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale. Despite this pre-season blip, Chelsea ended last season well, securing the Europa League title after beating rivals ?Arsenal in Baku.
|Barcelona 1-2 Valencia (25/5)||Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 Chelsea (19/7)|
|Eibar 2-2 Barcelona (19/5)||St Patrick’s Athletic 0-4 Chelsea (13/7)|
|Barcelona 2-0 Getafe (12/5)||Bohemians 1-1 Chelsea (10/7)|
|Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (7/5)||Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal (29/5)|
|Celta Vigo 2-0 Barcelona (4/5)||New England Revolution 0-3 Chelsea (16/5)|
Barcelona look set to field a team missing a number of key senior players, whereas the Chelsea lineup will be formidable and eager to avenge their loss against Kawasaki Frontale.
A tight encounter is expected, but Chelsea might just edge it.
Prediction: Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea.