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Barça take on AS Roma in the Gamper / FCB

59 days after the celebrations for the historic treble achieved by the blaugranes last season, Camp Nou comes back to life after a summer hiatus with the visit of Italian side AS Roma for the traditional pre-season opening game at the stadium, the Joan Gamper Trophy. The clash with the Serie A club will mark the end of a pre-season which has taken Barça to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and Florence. The first team will be presented to the fans before the game and a party atmosphere is guaranteed in the final test for Luis Enrique’s squad ahead of their attempt to claim the European and Spanish Super Cups.

Team news

With the return of Claudio Bravo to training on Monday, Luis Enrique now has his entire first team squad back after the summer break. On Tuesday morning local time the team trained for the final time before the visit of Roma with Arda Turan and Douglas receiving physiotheraphy as they continue their respective recoveries from injury. Adriano trained apart from the rest of the squad and has not yet received the all clear from medical staff. Barça boss Luis Enrique is likely to name his entire available squad for Wednesday’s game with the players to be presented to the crowd ahead of the encounter with the Italians.

AS Roma boss Rudi Garcia has named a 25 man squad for the game at Camp Nou that includes former Barça midfielder Seydou Keita. Also in the travelling party are the familiar names of Iago Falqué and Tony Sanabria, both of whom had spells within the Barça youth system.

Coaches’ viewpoint

Luis Enrique spoke to the press on Tuesday at the Ciutat Esportiva ahead of the Gamper Trophy clash with Roma and made his feelings clear on the traditional season opener at Camp Nou: “Each time this game comes round it’s the first time we get to meet the fans again at the start of a new season and that is always something special - I hope it turns into a footballing party and a great game against a great opponent.”

Roma boss Rudi Garcia was disappointed following his side’s 2-0 defeat on Saturday in Lisbon against Sporting Clube in their latest pre-season friendly: “Our opponents were further ahead in their preparation, but there are no excuses. We could have done better.”

Form guide

FC Barcelona completed their series of fixtures in this season’s International Champions Cup with a 2-1 defeat away on Sunday at Fiorentina in the Artemio Franchi Stadium. The result was the second defeat of pre-season for the blaugranes following on from their loss against Manchester United. Barça did manage a victory in their first game of pre-season against LA Galaxy as well as holding Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea to a draw in Washington DC.

AS Roma also took part in the International Champions Cup and played two matches in the Australian zone of the competition. They began the tournament with a 0-0 draw against Real Madrid in Melbourne, taking the points in the end after a 7-6 win on penalties. Three days later on 21 July, once again in Melbourne, they were held 2-2 by Manchester City and this time they were the losers in the penalty shoot out, going down 5-4 against the Premiership side. Most recently came the defeat against Sporting Clube by two goals to nil in Lisbon.

History

AS Roma have the edge over Barça in previous meetings with the blaugranes having suffered three defeats in seven matches against the Italians spanning more than 60 years. The Catalans have recorded two draws and two wins over the team from the Italian capital. Their first encounter took place in 1953 and the most recent in the Champions League group stages in 2002 when Luis Enrique and Francesco Totti started both the 1-1 draw at Camp Nou and the 3-0 win for Roma in the Olympic Stadium.

Coverage

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