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The season kicks off in earnest on Sunday at 10.00pm CEST with Barça looking to start with a bang against last season’s Copa del Rey final opposition Sevilla.
The first piece of silverware of the season is up for grabs and Valverde’s men will need the come out on top in a one-off match instead of the traditional two-legged final in order to secure their 13th Spanish Super Cup.
Ernesto Valverde has announced a full squad for the Spanish Super Cup trip, consisting of 25 first team players plus Barça B standouts Miranda and Riqui Puig. The list will be reduced to 18 players once the team arrive in Morocco.
New signings Arthur, Lenglet, Malcom and Vidal are all travelling meaning we may get our first sight of the reinforcements in a competitive match for the first time. The suspended Sergi Roberto and injured players Denis Suárez and Carles Aleñá are all part of the group that travelled to Tangier on Sunday morning for the game against Sevilla.
Ernesto Valverde chatted to the media ahead of the game.
On the one-game final: “It being held over a single game brings added difficulty, but our idea idea is always to win. Both teams have the same possibilities."
On his squad’s status: "We're training at a high level, the players have come here focused on this game, and they are prepared"
On Arturo Vidal: "He is a player who is used to playing in tough, important games."
Also, the new third captain, Gerard Piqué spoke of his confidence in the squad: "The training sessions that we've had (since returning from the summer break) have shown the high level of the players who have come in."
FC Barcelona’s preseason record was mixed as they toured around the US for the International Champions Cup. They defeated Tottenham on penalties having drawn 2-2 and then lost to AS Roma 4-2 and to AC Milan 1-0. However, Valverde has since welcomed back his World Cup stars from their holidays.
The two sides last met in the Copa del Rey final, in which the blaugranas produced a dazzling display to secure their fourth Copa in a row and 30th in total. Valverde’s side also won the league title last season and they will be looking to recreate their previous campaign’s scintillating domestic form in this season’s curtain raiser.
The Spanish Super Cup will make history this year as it is the first time it is being played in a one-off game and outside of Spain. Moreover, we will see VAR used in a competitive game in Spain for the first time.
Also, the new captain Leo Messi could become the blaugrana to have won the most titles in the history of the Club. He is currently on 32 with Andrés Iniesta and could win his 33rd and first as captain on Sunday. The Argentinian is the top scorer in this competition with 13 goals and he has scored four of those against Sevilla at the Camp Nou.
The two clubs have history in this competition as Barça’s 12th Spanish Super Cup trophy came against Sevilla in the 2016/17 season with a 5-0 aggregate win.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The good news is there is no need to miss out on any of Sunday’s action as we have a handy TV guide which gives you all the information you need on when and where you can watch Barça on TV. If you can’t watch live then don’t worry as the game can also be followed on the club's minute-by-minute service on the official website and social media.
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