Spanish giants Barcelona will take on AS Roma in the International Champions Cup on August 1, 2018, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in the United States.
Barcelona won their first ever International Champions Cup title last year by defeating Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid. The giants of Catalan continue their preseason campaign as they look to defend their title against a battle-tested Italian side.
In their previous game at this tournament, Barca almost let a two-goal lead vanish in thin air. They allowed the Tottenham HotSpurs to equalize 2-2 before winning on penalty kicks 5-3. Munir El Haddadi and Arthur both scored against the Spurs but they committed several defensive lapses as the Premier League side applied pressure.
Roma Severely Depleted
On the other hand, AS Roma’s only game so far in the International Champions Cup ended in a 2-4 defeat to the Spurs( yes, same opponent). Although it was nothing more than just a preseason game, it definitely showed that there is a lot to be done within the club.
AS Roma is headed to a rebuild next season as the Italian giants were severely depleted in this year’s transfer window. Many of the players who were instrumental in sending Roma to the Champions League semi-finals were sold. Gone are the likes of Alisson Becker, Radja Nainggolan, back up keeper Lukas Skorupski, Arturo Calabresi and Marco Tumminello. Meanwhile, Roma has added young talents like 18-year-olds Nicolo Zaniolo and William Bianda, 19-year-old Justin Kluivert as well as 21-year-old Daniel Fuzato.
Barcelona Adding Young Faces
With Lionel Messi moving closer to the twilight of his career and Andres Iniesta leaving the Spanish side, Valverde has signed Clement Lenglet, Arthur Melo and Malcolm to add youth to their frontline. With 13 fresh faces from the Barcelona B-side added to their U.S. preseason tour line-up, it’s obvious that the master tactician is going to try out his young guns especially with Messi and Luis Suarez out of the lineup.
FC Barcelona was eliminated by AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League and for sure, they want their payback here even if this is just a preseason game. Likewise, it’s a good venue for Valverde to try out his squad players and ensure that he has enough depth for the long grind ahead next season.
Barcelona vs AS Roma
Odds: Barcelona +184, AS Roma +127
Odds taken from Sportsbetting.ag on July 31, 2018
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Jasper Cillessen, Jokin Ezkiet
Nelson Semedo, Lucas Digne, Alex Vidal, Clement Lenglet, Marlon Santos, Sergi Palencia, Marc Cucurella, Oscar Mingueza, Jorge Cuenca, Juan Miranda, Chumi
Denis Suarez, Sergio Roberto, Andre Gomes, Arthur Melo, Rafinha, Sergi Samper, Monchu, Alex Collado, Riqui Puig, Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla
Paco Alcacer, Munir El Haddadi, Abel Ruiz, Carles Perez
AS Roma Squad
Antonio Mirante, Daniel Fuzato, Matteo Cardinali
Rick Karsdorp, Luca Pellegrini, Juan Jesus, Aleksandar Kolarov, Ivan Marcano, Davide Santon, Federico Fazio, Alessandro Florenzi, Kostas Manolas, William Bianda
Bryan Cristante, Kevin Strootman, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Daniele De Rossi, Ante Coric, Maxime Gonalons, Javier Pastore
Diego Perotti, Edin Dzeko, Patrick Schick, Cengiz Under, Gregoire Defrel, Justin Kluivert, Stephan El Shaarawy
As we said earlier, Barcelona has a good motive to win here because it was AS Roma who eliminated them in the UEFA Champions League. As for AS Roma, they got beaten badly by the Spurs in their previous match and back to back losses in the preseason won’t do well with their preparations.
With all the big names missing out this fixture, we’re expecting to see some young and squad players trying to impress their coaches. That being said and this being an exhibition match early in the preseason, offense should prevail over defense here. As far as picking a winner is concerned, we think that despite missing Messi and Suarez, Barcelona still has the deeper team and for sure, their new signees will be looking to impress here. Remember that Malcolm was supposed to join Roma before Barcelona came with the better offer. Watch out for him.
We’re picking Barcelona to win and exact some sort of revenge over Roma.