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The final game of the US Tour for FC Barcelona and also the final game of the preseason. Next weekend, the team will be starting its Liga campaign away to Athletic Club in Bilbao. Before that, the Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, is the venue for the second of two fixtures against Napoli for the LaLiga-Serie A Cup.
Barça will officially be the ‘away’ team for this game, which means they’ll be wearing their second strip. Remember, the first leg in Miami ended 2-1 to Barça, and the cracking goals scored by Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic go down as ‘away goals’, meaning the Catalans are well poised to add another trophy to their glittering collection.
At the Hard Rock Stadium, rather than send out an almost entirely different XI for the second half, Ernesto Valverde made far fewer changes than he was entitled to. Instead, and as he told the media after the final whistle, he intends to use a very different team for this ‘second leg’.
We can expect to see Marc–Andre Ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto all featuring after sitting out the game in Miami. The boss also opted not to field any of the South American trio of Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Arturo Vidal, who all reported back for training later than the others due to the Copa America. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see all of those in action today.
Barça & Napoli: The preseason so far
Barça 1-2 Chelsea
Vissel Kobe 0-2 Barça
Barça 2-1 Arsenal
Napoli 1-2 Barça
Napoli 1-1 Benevento
Napoli 5-0 Feralpisalò
Napoli 3-3 Cremonese
Liverpool 0-3 Napoli
Marseille 0- 1 Napoli
Barça 2-1 Napoli
Biggest stadium in the US, second in the world
The ‘Big House’, home to the Michigan Wolverines of the NCAA’s Big Ten Conference (college football, as in American football), is the venue for today’s game. And it is a very big house indeed. In fact, it is the biggest stadium in the United States and the second biggest in the world.
Only the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in North Korea is bigger, a multi-purpose stadium that, among other uses, regularly hosts the national football team.
The Camp Nou, the biggest stadium in Europe, comes eleventh on the global list. Eight of the other stadiums are college football venues, and although the Socceroos do sometimes play at the MCG, it is primarily an Aussie rules and cricket ground.
However, with work due to commence soon on restructuring and expanding the Camp Nou, the Barça stadium is set to rise to fourth on the list!
World's biggest stadiums*
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea (114,000)
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, USA (110,601)
Beaver Stadium, Pennsylvania, USA (106,572)
Kyle Field, Austin, USA (102,733)
Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, USA (102,455)
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, USA (102,321)
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, USA (102,082)
Bryant–Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, USA (101,821)
Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, USA (100,119)
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia (100,024)
Camp Nou, Barcelona (99,354)
*Does not include ‘race tracks’ for motor sports, etc. If it did, the Camp Nou wouldn’t even be the biggest stadium in Catalonia, which would be the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya at Montmeló…
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