After a summer tour around the globe, Barcelona return home for their final preseason test of 2022 as the Catalan giants gear up for the coming La Liga campaign.
The Blaugrana take on Mexican side Pumas UNAM at Camp Nou on Sunday in the annual Joan Gamper Trophy, with the Liga MX squad making the overseas trip to face one of the world’s most famous clubs.
It will be a final peek at how Xavi believes his best starting lineup is constructed, the coach afforded a wealth of incredible attacking talent thanks to a prolific offseason for Barcelona. New signings Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Franck Kessie have all made a positive impact in the attacking third.
Additionally, new defensive signing Jules Kounde adds yet another top player to the bulging Barcelona back line. However, questions remain over the club’s financial situation: they are unable to register all their new players for La Liga duty as it stands.
The Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Barcelona vs. Pumas live score
Barcelona vs. Pumas live updates, highlights, commentary
105 mins to kick: Pumas fans, whether from local or abroad, are on site and marching to the Camp Nou! What a moment for both the club and its supporters to be playing at one of Europe’s most famous arenas.
AFICIÓN PRESENTE 🐱
— TVC Deportes (@TVCDeportes) August 7, 2022
120 mins to kick: The storyline ahead of the Barcelona season is the club’s inability to register players. There is just a week left to go before their campaign begins, and the club’s wage bill is unsustainable as-is, La Liga has determined.
Multiple reports, including ESPN, claim that the club currently cannot register all five summer signings of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen, Jules Kunde, and Franck Kessie for league play this season. The club has already triggered multiple financial loopholes attempting to free up money to sign the players, but more work is still to be done.
Today’s match will be about the performances on the field, but there is much work to be done off it if Barcelona are to take full advantage of their summer overhaul. The squad is bursting at the seams, and there could be a host of sales to come as the club looks to free up wages and secure incoming transfer fees.
Barcelona have been told by La Liga they will need to activate a fourth ‘economic lever’ to register their summer signings.
More from @AdamCrafton_ https://t.co/nJwVt4yc4f
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) August 5, 2022
Barcelona vs. Pumas projected lineups
With the La Liga season set to begin in one week’s time, Barcelona will look to build chemistry among players in the expected starting lineup. Xavi will get headaches trying to fit his best attacking talent into the lineup on a weekly basis, with so many world-class attacking players at his disposal.
It figures that talisman Robert Lewandowski is a lock to start up front long-term, but his supporting cast is up in the air. Raphinha and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have both had a good preseason, and Ousmane Dembele is back on a new contract and in good form. Ferran Torres is behind the others, working his way back from an offseason injury, while Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay are in the mix as well.
The central defensive partnership is up in the air as well. Gerard Pique has been a lock to start at the back when healthy, with Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia, and new arrival Jules Kounde all options to partner with the longtime Barcelona defender.
MORE: Barcelona summer transfer rumors for 2022 window
Barcelona projected starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left): Ter Stegen (GK) — Dest, Araujo, Pique, Alba — Kessie, Busquets, Pedri — Dembele, Lewandowski, Raphinha.
🚨 SQUAD LIST FOR THE TROFEU JOAN GAMPER! pic.twitter.com/vWyag4VV6x
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 6, 2022
Pumas are in the midst of a strange Apertura season with five draws through the first six matches. Head coach Andres Lillini can’t seem to get star striker Juan Dinenno going after his successful finish to last season, with the Argentine stuck on just a single goal.
There is a choice for Lillini at left-back between two former Mexican internationals in Adrian Aldrete and Efrain Velarde, or recent starter Jero Rodriguez.
California-born Jorge Ruvalcaba could see a run-out on the wing. The 21-year-old is a Mexican youth international and played college ball at Cal State San Bernardino less than two years ago.
Pumas projected starting lineup (4-3-3): J. Gonzalez (GK) — Aldrete, Freire, A. Ortiz, Bennevendo — Lopez, Meritao, Alves — del Prete, Dinenno, Salvio.
¡Apenas llegamos y ya estamos enamorados de la ciudad! 😍🇪🇸
— PUMAS (@PumasMX) August 3, 2022
Barcelona vs. Pumas UNAM TV channel, live stream
|Date||Sun, Aug. 7||Sun, Aug. 7||Sun, Aug. 7||Mon, Aug. 8|
|Time||19:00 BST||14:00 ET||14:00 ET||04:00 AEST|
|TV channel||—||Univision, TUDN||—||—|
Sunday’s friendly match between Barcelona and UNAM Pumas from the Camp Nou will be broadcast by Univision and TUDN in the United States. Both channels are among the soccer-friendly channels available to be streamed on fuboTV.
In most other territories, a subscription to BarcaTV+ is required to watch the game. BarcaTV+ is the premium streaming service exclusive to FC Barcelona.
MORE: How can Barcelona buy players when so deeply in debt? Financial situation explained
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism