Barcelona continue their preparation for the new season with a trip to Germany to face Stuttgart on Saturday at 5pm (UK time).
Ronald Koeman’s side won the Copa del Rey last season but it was an underwhelming campaign that they cannot afford to repeat amid so much uncertainty at the club.
How to live stream Stuttgart vs Barcelona online:
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Where to watch Stuttgart vs Barcelona on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: N/A
Scoreline prediction: Stuttgart 1-3 Barcelona
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Stuttgart vs Barcelona build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Last season Stuttgart made their return to the Bundesliga and it was a good one, as they ended the campaign in a comfortable eighth, only missing out on European football by five points as a result of their poor run at the end of the year. But now preparation has started at Stuttgart to try and ensure the Bundesliga return was not a fluke and their hopes to becoming an established top-flight side. Stuttgart are unbeaten in pre-season so far with three wins and two draws including a 1-1 against Liverpool in Austria.
While Stuttgart will have been celebrating last season, Barcelona had a year to forget even with their Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup victories. Under Koeman, the Blaugrana were feeble in the La Liga title race and went out of the Champions League with a whimper against PSG, losing 5-2. Then there’s all the drama surrounding their financial difficulties and the fact that, as of this moment, Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player. But the show has had to go on in pre-season, with Barcelona winning their two games so far, beating Gimnastic and Girona.
- Stuttgart (vs Arminia): Bredlow; Anton, Mavropanso, Kempf; Massimo, Klement, Karazor, Sosa; Didavi, Forster; Kalajdzic*.
- Barcelona (vs Girona): Pena; Dest, Pique, Umtiti, Balde; Roberto, Puig, Gonzalez Iglesias; Demir, Manaj, Mortimer.
Chris Fuhrich will be absent for Stuttgart after breaking his collar bone against Arminia, with the winger undergoing surgery. Sasa Kalajdzic is also out. Barcelona have no fresh concerns and have also welcomed Sergio Busquets, Martin Braithwaite and Jordi Alba to the 25-man squad in Germany.
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Player to watch: Memphis Depay (Barcelona)
With Messi’s future still not officially secured, and the Argentine being on holiday after winning the Copa America anyway, the early stages of pre-season have provided a good opportunity for Memphis Depay to stake his claim for one of Barcelona’s attacking roles.
In last weekend’s win over Girona, Depay made his unofficial Barcelona debut, coming on for Rey Manaj just before half-time to play through the middle. By the end of the game, Depay had scored for the first time in a Barcelona shirt, rounding off the 3-1 victory with a late penalty and showing glimpses of his quality. But Depay isn’t looking to be the only star man in Barcelona attack, instead dreaming of the partnership he can build alongside Messi and Sergio Aguero.
“It would be amazing to play with [Messi],” he told Sport recently.
“Hopefully it is possible. He has a number of qualities that the team needs and it would be important to build everything around that. There is a lot of talent in the team. It would be great for me to play alongside him and win titles.
“We have many attackers, but all different in my opinion. I have different abilities and strengths than Sergio Aguero, for example, or any other player.
“I think the three of us are compatible and different, but we are going to see how everything happens.”
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