Defending champions FC Barcelona go into their final preseason 2016-17 game on Wednesday as they ply their trade in the customary Joan Gamper Trophy â€” an annual football friendly which is the curtain raiser for Barca's main season. Luis Enrique's Spanish side take on the Italian side, Sampdoria, this time around.
This is the third meeting between the two sides in the Joan Gamper Trophy. In 1997, Barca beat the Italian side on penalties, while Sampdoria got past the Spanish giants in 2012. Who goes 2-1 up in the Joan Gamper Trophy 2016, remains to be seen.
The two sides share a massive history. It was in 1992 that Barcelona won their first-ever European Cup (now, UEFA Champions League) after getting past Sampdoria with a 1-0 score in Wembley. Barca's Ronald Koeman scored from a beautiful freekick in the extra time to decide the fate of the match.
For Wednesday's match, the likes of Neymar and Rafinha will be missing as they are currently playing in the Rio 2016 Olympics, but star players Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta will be available. Also, the highly rated youngsters, Denis SuÃ¡rez, Samuel Umtiti, AndrÃ© Gomes and Lucas Digne, will be seen in action.
Barca didn't have a very bad preseason so far, as they beat the likes of Celtic and Leicester City. But they were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool. Sampdoria, meanwhile, who stood 15th in the Serie A last season, beat Italian side Chievo in their first preseason game before losing to Spanish side Malaga on penalties.
Expected starting XI: Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Vidal, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, Gomes; Messi, Suarez, Munir.
Sampdoria: Viviano; De Silvestri, Silvestre, Regini, Sala; Barreto, Palombo, Linetty; Schick, Muriel, Quagliarella.
Joan Gamper Trophy 2016: Barcelona vs Sampdoria is scheduled to kick off at 7.30 p.m. CET (12 a.m. IST, 2:30 p.m. EST) from the Camp Nou on Aug. 10.
Where to watch live
India: TV: None
UK: TV: None
USA: TV: Fox Deportes
Spain: TV: TV3
Italy: TV: None
Radio commentary: Radio Barca
Live score: Twitter