The La Liga started on Friday, August 18, and one of the big teams in Spain, Barcelona are set to play their first match of the season. The Spanish giants will meet Real Betis at Camp Nou on Sunday, August 20. The game is expected to be an emotional one as it was only few days ago that the city (Barcelona) came under terror attack, leading to 14 deaths.
The summer has been painful for Barcelona as PSG managed to secure a deal and land Barca striker Neymar. That is not the end of it; Barcelona have not been able to find his replacement, and they have not been able to hit the ground running, as their recent Spanish Super loss to Real Madrid suggest. Barcelona only scored one goal across two legs.
It is time for Barcelona to move forward. Without Neymar, Lionel Messi will be under tremendous pressure to deliver. Things have gone from bad to worse for Barcelona as another striker, Luis Suarez, will be out of action for a month due to knee injury. Barcelona are a quality side, but the absence of such quality players might have a huge impact.
No matter what, team that comprises a player like Messi know that they have a player, who can win games on his own. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde wants other players in the team to support him well so that Messi can get the best result for Barcelona. Players like Ivan Rakitic and Denis Suarez needs to support him well against Real Betis.
"He is the best in the world, that's the luck that we have. But all of us have to help him. We have to find a way of playing that allows him to shine and his team mates too," said Barça coach.
It is not only about goals, but Barcelona will have to be on top of their game, defensively as well. They cannot allow any opportunity for Betis to take advantage of any loose balls or careless defending.
Betis will be under their new manager Quique Setien, who will love to start his campaign with a win over Barcelona. However, he should be even pleased if they manage to secure a point at Camp Nou, which has always been a difficult place for away teams.
Where to watch live
Barcelona vs Real Betis La Liga game is scheduled for 8:15pm local time, 11:45pm IST 7:15pm BST, 2:15pm ET.
India: TV: Sony TEN 2. Live Streaming: Sony Liv
Spain: TV: BeIN La Liga, Movistar+. Live Streaming: BeIN Sports
UK: Sky Sports Football. Live Streaming: Sky Go
US: TV: beIN Sports. Live Streaming: BeIN Sports
Africa:TV SuperSport7 . Live Streaming: SuperSport Online